In the RTÉ Poetry Programme on 9th December, Ireland Professor of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin joins Olivia O’Leary to talk about music, poetry and her love of Italy.

Following the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Seamus Heaney in 1995, the Ireland Chair of Poetry was set up in partnership between the two Arts Councils in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and University College Dublin.  

The current Ireland Chair of Poetry is Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Professor Emeritus of English at Trinity College Dublin and author of seven collections of poetry.  Her first collection, Acts and Monuments, won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, and her collection The Sun Fish won the Griffin International Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been praised for its imaginative sweep, its elegance and its technical command. 

RTÉ Poetry Programme preview: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin reads The Polio Epidemic:

We need your consent to load this SoundCloud contentWe use SoundCloud to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Eiléan joins Olivia O’Leary on The Poetry Programme to talk about and read a selection of her poetry, and also to talk about her role as Ireland Professor of Poetry. One of her duties is to give an annual lecture and she tells Olivia about her first lecture, on Pearse Hutchinson (we hear an archive reading of the poet reading one of his poems), and what she is planning for the next one. 

There is also a chance to win a set of the six volumes of lectures by the previous Ireland Professors of Poetry, published by UCD Press, plus a copy of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s collection The Boys of Bluehill, published by Gallery Press. 

The programme ends with a snapshot of some of the poets heard on previous programmes (Liz Lochhead, Luke Kennard, Seán Hewitt, Tara Bergin, Mark Roper and Siobhán Campbell) attempting to answer the question ‘How do you know when a poem is finished?’ 

The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1, Saturdays at 7.30pm