Course Instructor Days Times Room


Modern Irish literature is a rich source of innovation and creativity in a society that underwent tremendous change since 1922, when Ireland achieved partial independence from the British Empire.  This course will look at a range of contemporary writers in cultural contexts that speak to the literary innovation of Irish writers, at home and abroad.  We will consider a wide range of texts, from poems to detective novels, thrillers to Booker Prize winners.  Besides the broad conversation we will focus on particular moments and concerns, like the Diaspora and the Troubles in the north of Ireland, as motivating contexts for Ireland's continuing literary tradition.  

We will read Glenn Patterson's The Mill for Grinding Old People Young; poetry by Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Ciaran Carson, Michael Longley, Sinead Morrissey, Paul Muldoon and others; Kevin Barry's Beatlebone; Benjamin Black's Christine Falls (Black is the pseudonym for John Banville); Tana French's In the Woods; Anne Enright's The Gathering; Colm Toibin's Brooklyn, and excerpts from little magazines.  We will also watch films like Good Vibrations, which is about the Troubles and the Belfast punk scene, and discuss the phenomenon that is U2.   













Many of these poems can be found in online sources.  Other material will be supplied as indicated.  Most of the novels are available cheaply through Amazon or Kindle.  

They are presented generally in the order we will read them in class.  

Glenn Patterson, The Mill for Grinding Old People Young

Seamus Heaney, ‘North’; ‘Exposure’; ‘Tollund Man’

Ciaran Carson, ‘The Bloody Hand’; ‘Belfast Confetti’; excerpts from The Star Factory, to be supplied

Good Vibrations - film

Paul Muldoon, ‘Meeting the British’; ‘Anseo’; ‘Promises, Promises’

Michael Longley, ‘The Ice Cream Man’; ‘Ceasefire’; ‘The Leveret’

Kevin Barry, Beatlebone

Eavan Boland, ‘That the Science of Cartography is Limited’

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘The Second Voyage’; Vona Groarke, ‘Indoors’

Benjamin Black, Christine Falls

Tana French, In the Woods

Anne Enright, The Gathering

Sinead Morrissey, ‘Jigsaw’, ‘Lighthouse’

Excerpts from The Tangerine/ Winter Pages, to be supplied

Colm Toibin, Brooklyn