Carlow College, St Patrick’s hosted a special Literary Evening last night (15th November) with poets Jessica Traynor and Mark Roper, as they launched their latest books. Jessica Traynor launched her third collection, Pit Lullabies, and Mark Roper launched his latest book, Beyond Stillness.
Both poets are very familiar with Carlow College, as they both have taken part in our creative writing programmes before. Jessica was recently the Carlow writer in residence, and Mark has given workshops and readings in the College over the years.
Commenting on her long-awaited return to Carlow College, Jessica said: ‘I’m excited to come back to Carlow College, where I had a residency in early 2020, just before lockdown hit. I’ve such fond memories of those trips from Dublin; of my interactions with the talented writers attached to the college, and of the connections I made both at the College and the Visual Arts Centre which led to some inspiring collaborative projects. Many of the poems in my latest collection, Pit Lullabies, took shape during my residency and I’m excited to bring them home to Carlow.’
Speaking about the event, Lecturer in English, Dr Derek Coyle commented ‘ We welcome back these poets to Carlow College. Mark has a long-standing connection with the College, and Jessica more recently. It is important for our students to encounter poetry as a living and vibrant art; and for them to see that they can be, not just consumers of the art, but creators of it as well. There is a lot of joy in making. Of course, in discovering the creative challenges of writing good poetry, they have a deeper appreciation of those who have mastered the art.’
As both poets read from their books and talked about their writings as well as their creative lives, the evening was a fantastic opportunity to see and hear poetry from two renowned artists.