ACIS Logo Mairéad Byrne

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My publications include six poetry collections: The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven (2019 / 2010), Famosa na sua cabeça (2015), You Have to Laugh: New + Selected Poems (2013), Talk Poetry (2007), SOS Poetry (2007), and Nelson & The Huruburu Bird (2003), published in the United States, Brazil, and Ireland; also four book collaborations with visual artists: Jennifer’s Family, with Louisa Marie Summer (2012), Michael Mulcahy, WORKS Series on Contemporary Visual Arts Ireland (1995), Eithne Jordan, WORKS Series on Contemporary Visual Arts Ireland (1994), and Joyce—A Clew, with Henry J. Sharpe (1982), published in the Netherlands and Ireland. Recent chapbooks and essays include In & Out (2019); har sawlya (2019); “The Shed of Poetry” in A Line of Tiny Zeros in the Fabric: Essays on the Poetry of Maurice Scully (2020); and “Light in July,” in David Jhave Johnston, ReRites: Raw Data/Responses (2019), published in Ireland, Canada, and the UK.

My academic qualifications include a PhD in Theory and Cultural Studies (Purdue University, 2001) and an MA in Gaelic Literature (University College Cork 2022). My PhD research was in contemporary theories of metaphor; one of my key examples being the land as mother, particularly in the context of nationalism. My conclusion was that the availability of the metaphor, e.g., Ireland as a mother, is in inverse relationship to articulations of identity such as naming and the economic/political/labor/civil rights of actual mothers. My MA thesis addressed translation, untranslatability, and adaptation in Brian Merriman’s Cúirt an Mheán-Oíche (1780s), examining various kinds of crossing, including transmission and metaphor; also productive obstacles to to crossing and how different art forms can take up different pieces of the work. I advocate for transcendence of the dual tradition, and illegitimacy as a necessary value in postcolonial and contemporary culture.

I am employed as a Professor of Poetry + Poetics at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and also serve as the Coordinator of the RISD Literary Arts & Studies Concentration.

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