Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet Returns to Home Soil

One of Ireland's leading contemporary poets, Paul Muldoon is back in Armagh for prestigious John Hewitt International Summer School

There has been more than a faint whisper of excitement in the rarefied air of Armagh’s literary circles in recent weeks. Anticipation of the return of the city’s Pultizer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon has been demonstrated in the quick-fire selling-out of next Thursday’s music concert that sees Muldoon take to the stage alongside three members of Celtic-rock pioneers The Horslips.

Forming part of the 28th John Hewitt International Summer School – itself now a permanent and prominent fixture within Armagh’s artistic calendar the gig marks something of a departure for Muldoon. He can be found, however, attending to the more familiar demands of his art while 'In Conversation' with local journalist Adrian Moynes before paying public tribute to Armagh writer John O’Connor.

Muldoon stands today as one of the pre-eminent contemporary Irish poets, and indeed one of the most celebrated wordsmiths of the English language. A native of Collegelands, he attended St Patrick’s College in Armagh city prior to attending Queen’s University Belfast. During his time at Queen’s an encounter with Seamus Heaney led the former to brand the latter 'the most promising poet to appear in Ireland for years.'

With such illustrious endorsement, it came as no surprise when, while still a student, Paul’s first poetry collection New Weather was picked up and published by Faber & Faber in 1973. He has subsequently maintained a consistently illuminating poetic output in the form of  twelve major collections, the most recent of which, One Thousand Things Worth Knowing, saw print earlier this year.

In addition to poetry, Paul has established a substantial canon of literary criticism alongside translational works, opera, songs, and television and radio drama. He edited the 1986 Faber Anthology of Contemporary Irish Poetry and later the Faber Book of Beasts and has seen his own prodigious creative work translated into over twenty languages.

Recognition of Paul’s ability reads as a roll call of some of the most celebrated honours attainable to a man of letters. Described by the Times Literary Supplement as 'the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War', Paul’s gift has garnered him a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the T.S Eliot Prize and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, he served as Oxford Professor of Poetry until 2004 and is currently president of the Poetry Society in addition to acting as Poetry Editor of the New Yorker.

Resident in the USA since 1987, Paul now serves as the Howard G.B Clark Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University in New Jersey, where he lives with his wife, writer Jean Hanff Korelitz and their two children.

Tickets for Paul Muldoon’s 'In Conversation' event with Adrian Moynes at JHISS this Wednesday, July 29 at 4.15pm. Booking at the Market Place Box Office on 028 3752 1821 and online at www.marketplacearmagh.com.