Afternoon Workshop, University of Reading, Edith Morley 175 1.30-6.00

Room to Rhyme is a British Academy funded research project investigating literature, crisis, arts policy and the public sphere, with special attention to poetry in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1978. The second project workshop will take place at the University of Reading on the afternoon of 13th April 2018. The afternoon will have an informal, interdisciplinary and collaborative atmosphere and is designed to promote discussion and facilitate contact between participants.

There will be three presentations:


 Heaney’s  North and Cultural Policy in Northern Ireland 1968-1975

Conor Carville (Reading)


Conor Carville is Associate Professor of English at Reading University. His book on Irish cultural theory The Ends of Ireland: Criticism, History, Subjectivity, was published by Manchester University Press in 2012.  Samuel Beckett and the Visual is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in April 2018. He has recently been carrying out research in the Northern Irish poetry archives at Emory University and the Arts Council Northern Ireland Archives, as part of his British Academy funded Room to Rhyme project. His book of poems Harm’s Way was published by Dedalus Press.


There’s No Such Place as Ballygrand

Ian Duhig


Ian Duhig has won the National Poetry Competition twice, and in 1994 was named as one of the Poetry Society’s ‘New Generation’ Poets. He worked for 15 years with homeless people, including a period in Belfast, and a concern with social issues continues to inform his work.  He has published several poetry collections: The Bradford Count (1991), shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award and the Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection); The Mersey Goldfish (1995), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize; Nominies (1998), named as one of the 1998 Sunday Times Poetry Books of the Year, and receiving a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation; Lammas Hireling (2003), a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year); and The Speed of Dark (2007), shortlisted for the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize and the 2007 Costa Poetry Award. Pandorama appeared in 2010. His latest collection, The Blind Roadmaker (2010) was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Read his essay To Witness, on poetry’s responsibilities.


Type Face:

A Reading and Reflection In and Out of the Archive: 

Dr. Gail McConnell (Queen’s University, Belfast)


Poet and critic Gail McConnell‘s research interests are in modern and contemporary British and Irish literature. Her monograph Northern Irish Poetry and Theology (2014) explores the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Derek Mahon. Recent research has focused on Seamus Heaney and photography, Samuel Beckett and Protestant theology, Northern Irish poetry after the peace process and contemporary British poetry. Her debut pamphlet is forthcoming with Green Bottle Press in 2018. A long poem, Typeface was published in Blackbox Manifold in December 2016. She won the Ink, Sweat and Tears Pamphlet Competition in 2017, and will publish her second pamphlet with the press in 2019. Poems are published or forthcoming in PN ReviewEyewear Review, The Manchester Review, past simple and The Tangerine. She is an editor of The Irish Review.


Register your place

The event is free and open to anyone interested. A sandwich lunch, plus tea and coffee, will be provided. If you would like to attend, please email the organiser, Conor Carville (