Irish poets, writers featured in Prairie Schooner launch party

Nuala Ni Chonchuir. Photo courtesy Emilia Krysztofiak
Nuala Ni Chonchuir. Photo courtesy Emilia Krysztofiak

Galway novelist Nuala Ni Chonchuir will join a select group of award-winning Irish poets and writers at the Prairie Schooner "Irish Issue Launch Party," Feb. 9-10 at the Sheldon Museum of Art.

The free public event features Irish writers included in Prairie Schooner's Winter 2011 special Irish issue along with other Irish-themed festivities. The issue was edited by Stephen Behrendt, professor of English.

According Kwame Dawes, the Glenna Luschei editor-in-chief of Prairie Schooner, this collection "constitutes one of the best gatherings of contemporary Irish fiction and poetry in print today. Professor Behrendt has managed to bring together an amazing list of authors and it is our good fortune that we have been able to bring some of these brilliant writers to our campus to be part of this celebration."

The launch party schedule includes (events in the Sheldon's Ethel S. Abbot Auditorium unless otherwise noted):

Feb. 9

1-3 p.m. — Irish authors Deanie Rowan Blank and Nuala Ni Chonchuir read and give on-stage interviews

3:30-5 p.m. — Karen Babine, Behrendt, Aidan Rooney and Bret Shepard present on a panel focusing on contemporary Irish literature.

Feb. 10

1-3 p.m. — Irish writers Rooney and Sandra Bunting read and give on-stage interviews

3:30-5 p.m. — Prairie Schooner Irish issue launch, featuring live guest readings from the new issue;

7-8 p.m. — Prairie Schooner reception featuring live Irish music along with Irish-themed food and beverages in the Sheldon's Great Hall. The reception is immediately followed at 8 p.m. with feature readings by Blank, Bunting, Ni Chonchuir and Rooney. Sheldon's Great Hall

— Trey Moody, Prairie Schooner