A poem by Paul Muldoon, read by Lisa Dwan, with a discussion to follow.
Sponsored by The Department of English and Comparative Literature, Office of the EVP for Arts & Sciences, The Forum, and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.
Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet and professor of poetry, as well as an editor, critic, playwright, lyricist and translator. Born in 1951 in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland, to Patrick Muldoon, a farm labourer and market gardener, and Brigid Regan, a schoolteacher, Paul Muldoon was brought up near a village called The Moy on the border of Counties Armagh and Tyrone. He is the oldest of three children. After studying at Queen’s University, Belfast, he published his first book, New Weather (Faber) in 1973, at the age of 21. From 1973 he worked as a producer for the BBC in Belfast until, in the mid-1980’s, he gave up his job to become a freelance writer and moved to the United States with his second wife, the American novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz. He now lives in New York City and Sharon Springs, New York. He is the father of two children.
Muldoon is the author of thirteen major collections of poetry, including Frolic and Detour (2019), One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Maggot (2010), Horse Latitudes (2006), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Hay (1998), The Annals of Chile (1994), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), Meeting the British (1987), Quoof (1983), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Mules (1977) and New Weather (1973). He has also published innumerable smaller collections, works of criticism, opera libretti, books for children, song lyrics and radio and television drama. His poetry has been translated into twenty languages.
Muldoon served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004 and as poetry editor of The New Yorker from 2007 to 2017. He has taught at Princeton University since 1987 and currently occupies the Howard G.B. Clark ’21 chair in the Humanities. In addition to being much in demand as a reader and lecturer, he occasionally appears with a spoken word music group, Rogue Oliphant. With his wife, American novelist Jean Hanff Korelitz, he adapted James Joyce's "The Dead" as an immersive, site-specific play, "The Dead, 1904," which was produced by the Irish Repertory Theatre and Dot Dot Productions, LLC, for seven-week runs in 2016 and 2017.
Paul Muldoon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his awards are the 1972 Eric Gregory Award, the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2006 European Prize for Poetry, the 2015 Pigott Poetry Prize, the 2017 Spirit of Ireland Award from the Irish Arts Center (NYC), the 2017 Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the 2018 Seamus Heaney Award for Arts & Letters. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from ten universities. Paul Muldoon has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War." Roger Rosenblatt, writing in The New York Times Book Review, described Paul Muldoon as "one of the great poets of the past hundred years, who can be everything in his poems - word-playful, lyrical, hilarious, melancholy. And angry. Only Yeats before him could write with such measured fury."
Lisa Dwan is an Irish performer, director & writer. Having originally trained in the UK as a ballet dancer, including dancing with Rudolf Nureyev in Coppelia in Dublin, & The London Lewis Ballet Company she began acting professionally in her teens. She has worked extensively in theatre, film, and television, both internationally and in her native Ireland. She is currently shooting a new T.V series for Netflix called TOP BOY written by Ronan Bennett and produced by the artist Drake due for release Sept 2019.
Lisa has recently completed starring in Harold Pinters The Lover & The Collection at STC in Washington DC where she won the 2019 Emery Battis award for outstanding contribution to acting. Most recently Dwan who is hailed by Ben Brantley in the New York Times as “the nonpareil interpreter of Samuel Beckett”, completed a world premiere of a one-woman production of her own adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s 1950’s prose text No’s Knife at The Old Vic Theatre London & Abbey Theatre Dublin. Prior to this Dwan has performed all over the world in the critically acclaimed “Beckett Trilogy” of Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby. Other recent theatre includes: world premiere in title role of Anna Karenina in a new adaptation by Marina Carr for The Abbey Theatre Dublin, Shining City (Off-Broadway, Irish Repertory Theatre), Text for Nothing (White Light Festival, Lincoln Center), Not I (Royal Court Theatre London), Beside the Sea (Southbank Center London), Margot, Diary of an Unhappy Queen (Barbican London), The Journey Between Us (Southwark Playhouse London), Ramin Gray’s production of Illusions by Ivan Viripaev (Bush Theatre London) and many more; Dwan writes, presents, and lectures regularly on theatre, culture and Beckett (BBC radio and television, NPR, the Guardian, the Telegraph, Independent, École Normale Supérieure, Trinity College Dublin, Reading University, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Princeton, NYU, MIT and Georgetown University. She has written and presented several documentaries for both TV and Radio across many platforms for BBC & SKY Arts on Samuel Beckett. She recently completed a documentary for the BBC on Dante set in Florence.
In 2017 she held the Atelier residency in Princeton University teaching a course on Becketts late prose work. Dwan was a fellow at the School of Art and Ballet at New York University 2017-2018. Lisa is currently a fellow at MIT Arts where she teaches a mini seminar series on Samuel Beckett. For the past two years Dwan has worked at Columbia University where she has taught at the Institute of Women and Gender studies developing a new theatre piece with Colm Toibin based on Antigone ‘Pale Sister’ and a new version of Medea with Margaret Atwood.‘Pale Sister’ will have its world premiere at the Gate Theatre Dublin in Oct 2019 and will open at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York January 2020