RTÉ Player Recommends: Paul Muldoon - Altantic Man

Updated / Thursday, 5 Jan 2017 12:26

Poet Paul Muldoon, the subject of this week's RTÉ Player recommendation.

RTÉ Player has launched a new on-demand Culture collection, featuring an eclectic mix of documentaries and performances from the worlds of Music, Arts, Film & TV and Literature.

Each week, the RTÉ Player team suggest a ‘must-watch’ from the Culture collection. This week, the focus is on Atlantic Man, a portrait of the celebrated poet Paul Muldoon, shot on location in Princeton, New Jersey and the Moy, Co. Tyrone.

Widely regarded as one of the outstanding poets of his generation and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2003), Paul Muldoon has published ten collections of poetry and is the editor of the Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Verse. Elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Muldoon is also poetry editor of the New Yorker magazine.

Shot mainly in Princeton, New Jersey, Paul Muldoon – Atlantic Man explores the influences on and the development of Paul’s writing career. It reflects on his early life in Northern Ireland and the journey which has brought him such international acclaim.

By sheer size of output and continued verbal virtuosity and inventiveness, Muldoon stands supreme among poets on both sides of the Atlantic. He has his fair share of critics: some argue he goes too far with wordplay or that he does not achieve enough with it. He agrees he can be too clever, he knows he skates the surface as rhymester, punster, prankster, rocker, the bad boy of poetry noisily joking at the back of the class, yet he is sure of his elegant poetic talent and his sense of control of his material.

“One can be several things at once," he says. "One can have lived in Ireland for all those years now live in the US and write poems that reflect those aspects of one’s life. You know, it’s not as if one changes overnight and becomes equal somehow to one’s passport.”

Watch Atlantic Man now on RTÉ Player.