Irish Arts Center



Guest readers and shared poems:

Belinda McKeon: "Thanks to Nicola Barker for the Yips," Rebecca O'Connor

Cáit O'Riordan: "Enemies," R.N.D. Wilson

Doireann Ní Ghríofa: "Lament for Christy Ring," Billy Ramsell

Fanny Howe: "A Song of Winter," Anonymous

John McAuliffe: "The Cold Heaven," W.B. Yeats

Kate Miller: "Evening in Connecticut," Louis MacNeice

Katherine Waterston: "For the Unkept House," Vona Groarke

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: "Achnasheen," Pearse Hutchinson

Peter Halpin: "Digging," Seamus Heaney

Sam Underwood: "Beannacht," John O'Donohue

Valorie Curry: "Everything is Waiting for You," David Whyte

Tom French: "Blessings," Francis Harvey

Zadie Smith: "Donal Og," Lady Augusta Gregory

Nick Laird: Section VII of "Station Island," Seamus Heaney

8th annual

Curated by Nick Laird

Presented in association with Literary Hub, Glucksman Ireland House NYU, and Poetry Ireland

November 4 – 6

“Literary revelry.”The New Yorker

Our eighth annual PoetryFest showcases an array of top poets from Ireland and the U.S.Come for three days of readings, conversations, and signings to celebrate not only the chemistry between Irish and U.S. poetry, but also some good old-fashioned conviviality in the intimate atmosphere of Irish Arts Center.

This year, the festival welcomes Northern Irish novelist and poet Nick Laird as curator, with participating poets including chief poetry critic for The Irish Times John McAuliffe, Whiting Writers Award-winner Jericho Brown, Cholmondeley Award-winner Colette Bryce, O'Shaughnessy Award-winner Tom French, Rooney Prize-winner Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Kimbilio and Cave Canem fellow Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Man Booker International and National Book Award finalist Fanny Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winner Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize-winner Sharon Olds, and Yaddo fellow and senior editor of The New York Review of Books Jana Prikryl. Special guests for Friday’s Favorite Poems launch event will include award-winning novelists Zadie Smith and Belinda McKeon; musician Cáit O'Riordan; politician and author Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; and actors Katherine Waterston, Sam Underwood, Valorie Curry and Peter Halpin.

After each event the poets will gather in the gallery to mingle with the audience and sign books.

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry. His first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is an associate professor in English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta.

Colette Bryce is a poet from Derry, Northern Ireland. She has published four poetry collections including The Full Indian Rope Trick (Picador, 2004) and Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008). Her latest, The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), was awarded a special Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney in 2015. She currently lives in the north of England where she works as a freelance writer and editor. She received the Cholmondeley Award for poetry in 2010.

Tom French was awarded bursaries in literature from An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council in 1999 and 2009, and his Touching the Bones (Gallery Press, 2001) was awarded the Forward Prize for First Collection 2002. His other books are The Fire Step (2009) Midnightstown (2014) and The Way to Work (2016), all published by The Gallery Press. His essays have appeared in The John McGahern Yearbook (Vol 3), Poetry Ireland Review, Chosen Lights (Gallery Press, 2009), New Hibernia Review/Iris Éireannach Nua,and the Irish Times magazine. In 2015 his poem ‘West’ received the Dermot Healy International Poetry Award, and in 2016 he received the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a bilingual writer working both in Irish and English. Her writing explores domesticity, desire, and the multiplicity of women’s lives. Among her awards are the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Michael Hartnett Prize and the Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary. Doireann’s writing has appeared widely both in Ireland and internationally, and has been translated into many languages, most recently to French, Macedonian, Gujarati, and English. Her fourth book ‘Oighear’ is forthcoming in 2017.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and visual artist. Her most recent collection, Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books 2015), was a finalist for the 2015 Balcones Poetry Prize and the 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award in Poetry. A Kimbilio and Cave Canem Fellow, Griffiths is a recipient of numerous fellowships including Yaddo, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Vermont Studio Center, and others. Her literary and visual work has appeared in the New York Times, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Guernica, Lit Hub, ESPN, and many others. Griffiths teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn. 

Over the years Fanny Howe has written numerous books of fiction, essays and poetry, published most recently by Graywolf Press.  She has won the Ruth Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award.  Her most recent collection of poetry is Second Childhood, a Finalist for the National Book Award 2014. She was a Finalist for the Man Booker International Award, 2015. Her newest collection, The Needle’s Eye, will be published in November 2016.

Yusef Komunyakaa’s collections of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau (based on his experiences in Vietnam), Neon Vernacular, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, Warhorses, and most recently The Emperor of Water Clocks. He has been the recipient of awards including the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, and the Wallace Stevens Award. He is currently the Poet Laureate of New York State and teaches at New York University.

John McAuliffe is an Irish poet who has lived and worked in England since 2002. His fourth book, The Way In, was published in 2015 by The Gallery Press and was joint winner of the 2016 Michael Hartnett Award for Best Collection. The Gallery Press also publish Of All Places (2011), which was a PBS Recommendation, Next Door (2007) and A Better Life (2002), which was shortlisted for a Forward prize. He co-directs the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester where he teaches poetry and co-edits The Manchester Review. He also writes a monthly poetry column for The Irish Times.

Kate Miller, the English poet, is a Londoner with a Fine Art background. She has long combined teaching with developing community gardens in the city. Her first book, The Observances,recently won the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize for First Collection.

The twelve collections published by poet Sharon Olds include Satan Says (1980), The Dead and The Living (1984), The Wellspring (1996), Stag’s Leap (2013), which won both the Pulitzer and T.S. Eliot Prizes, and Odes (2016). Olds was New York State Poet Laureate 1998-2000 and currently teaches at New York University's Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

Jana Prikryl's debut collection, The After Party (Tim Duggan Books), was published earlier this year. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, the London Review of Books, and The New York Review of Books, where she works as a Senior Editor. Her essays on film and photography appear regularly in The New York Review and The Nation. She was born in the Czech Republic and grew up in Canada, and lived in Dublin for a couple of years in her twenties, publishing some of her first work there. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their infant son.

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Belinda McKeon & Aengus Woods on what makes PoetryFest special


Friday, November 4

Favorite Poems
8 PM

Join us for a nourishing evening to launch the festival weekend, with poets and special guests including award-winning novelists Zadie Smith and Belinda McKeon; musician Cáit O'Riordan; politician and author Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; and actors Katherine Waterston, Sam Underwood, Valorie Curry and Peter Halpin reading much-loved, hand-picked poems by Irish poets.

Tickets are $35 regular / $50 premium / $15 student*, including after-party with poets and guests

Premium Packages are available. To learn more please contact Adam Lamberg at or 212-757-3318 x222.

*Student seating in back two rows

Saturday, November 5

Stonecutter presents Emerging Voices
Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Rachel Eliza Griffiths

2 PM

John McAuliffe and Jericho Brown
4 PM

Colette Bryce and Sharon Olds
with opening reading by Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry prize winner Kate Miller
6 PM

Sunday, November 6

Tom French and Jana Prikryl
1 PM

The Emigrant Poet Experience:
Nick Laird in conversation with Colette Bryce
3 PM

Yusef Komunyakaa and Fanny Howe
5 PM


The Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry with Kate Miller
Thursday, November 3 | 7 PM

at Glucksman Ireland House – NYU
1 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003

The Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry at Glucksman Ireland House honors Tom, a public school teacher in Philadelphia, a lover of poetry, and Glucksman Ireland House member since 1997; the lecture is endowed by his family. The Quinlan Lecture is offered in partnership with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queens University, Belfast, hosting Heaney Centre Prize-winner.

The 2016 winner of the Heaney Prize is Kate Miller for her collection The Observances (Carcanet).

Box office phone 866-811-4111
Administrative office phone 212-757-3318 fax 212-247-0930
553 West 51st Street, New York, NY 10019 | DIRECTIONS
General information
Office hours Monday-Friday 10 AM – 6 PM

Irish Arts Center programs are supported, in part, by government partners including the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; Culture Ireland, the agency for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide; the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate of Ireland in New York; the Northern Ireland Bureau; British Council Northern Ireland; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; The American Ireland Fund; Howard Gilman Foundation; Tourism Ireland; Bloomberg Philanthropies; and thousands of generous donors like you.

© 2017 Irish Arts Center