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1260 S. Lumpkin St., Athens GA 30602

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A reading by the Irish poet John McAuliffe, whose Selected Poems was published in October 2022 by Wake Forest University Press. This event is presented by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and The Georgia Review.

“John McAuliffe’s Selected Poems are a map of the places where the imagination meets observation, readers invited to travel further into questions of love and attachment than they ever would alone. There is dream too, and abstraction, the poems changing over time into a broad vision of the world as the poet has found it. That world is made for all of us of disappointments, challenges, and pleasures, which McAuliffe draws as the weather and the senses, the poems telling us quietly of thoughts and feelings that we more often keep in the background. Clear voiced and lyrical, McAuliffe’s poems have weight without heaviness, and shade without darkness, the Selected Poems a collection that will stay with you long after you read it.”
– Nicholas Allen, Baldwin Professor in Humanities and director, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts

From the publisher:

John McAuliffe’s Selected Poems begins with poems of the senses, of place, of childhood memories from Kerry, and of calendar and life events. These early poems are often personal, a note maintained among later, broader perspectives. One constant throughout the Selected is that McAuliffe views his subjects with one eye toward the ordinary and the other toward what is distinctive and often surprising in it. In recent volumes, in poems grounded in Manchester, where he lives and works, there is a more cosmopolitan, indeed global feel to the poems, though he never loses respect for the ironic and local. In this regard, he is Horatian: poems justify the labor of the poet’s life within the margins of the poem itself, and the objects that occupied his early poems continue to occupy his later work. For all the changes in perspective which age and emigration may have brought, he observes the “remaining vase coolly at home up there where it had been forgotten.” The poet remains, like the blackbird, “a creature of its mid-air qualms, / its clustered notes and afterthoughts and here-I-ams.”

McAuliffe grew up in Listowel, County Kerry. He studied English and Law at NUI Galway, and taught at a number of universities in Ireland, the UK, and the US, including Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Villanova, where he held the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies. He now lives in Manchester, where he is Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester and Associate Publisher at the independent poetry press Carcanet.

He has published five previous books with The Gallery Press, including The Kabul Olympics, which was a Guardian Poetry Book of the Month in June 2020 and a TLS and Irish Times 2020 Book of the Year, and The Way In (2015), which won the Michael Hartnett Award for Best Irish Collection that year. In 2013, a selection of his poetry was included in The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry Volume III, edited by Conor O’Callaghan.

He also works as a reviewer, editor, and translator. He wrote a monthly poetry column for the Irish Times from 2013–2020, and now co-edits the leading UK poetry journal PN Review. His versions of the Bosnian poet Igor Klikovac, Stockholm Syndrome (Smith Doorstop), was a Poetry Book Society Winter Pamphlet Choice in 2019, and his work as an anthologist includes Carcanet’s New Poetries VIII (2021) and Everything to Play For: 99 Poems About Sport (Poetry Ireland, 2015).

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