The English Department will celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a performance by Desmond Egan, an innovative, Irish poet.
Born in Athlone, Ireland, Egan had a natural inclination for literature; his mother taught him how to read when he was just three years old. In school he learned Latin and Greek, which he would later utilize to translate Greek plays. Egan attended University College, Dublin, and taught Greek and English at a secondary school for six years after earning his M.A. During his time as a teacher, Egan began to write poetry. In 1972, he founded his own publishing house, Goldsmith Press.
His 1983 Collected Poems won him the prestigious National Poetry Foundation of America Award in the same year.
His provocative themes and use of modernist techniques have drawn the attention of critics like Hugh Kenner and Brian Atkins, who compared him to W.B Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh.
Egan’s poem “Peace” was used in 2000 as a part of Peace for the Millennium, a celebration of hope for the new millennium. The poem has been translated into 35 languages. The poem compares the innocence and beauty of nature with the industrial ambition of human nature, reminding its readers of the need for peace and human kindness.
Senior Devin Kelley is currently taking the Irish Literature class taught by Fr. Jerome Day, O.S.B., and she looks forward to the performance.
Kelley says, “I am continually struck by the English Department’s dedication to bringing literature to life and giving students opportunities to engage with active writers, authors, and poets. I am especially excited for Egan’s performance, because Irish literature is particularly fascinating to me.”
Senior Caitlyn Abela adds, “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my Irish heritage than by attending Egan’s poetry reading this Friday night.”
Egan’s visit to Saint Anselm College will be his third in twenty years. The performance promises to be engaging, educational, and entertaining. The performance will take place on Friday, March 17 from 7-8 p.m. in the Dana Center 1D.