Singer, Fiddler, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. Photo by Denis Applewhite. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon will present a reading from his recent poetry collections joined by acclaimed singer Iarla Ó Lionáird and composer Dan Trueman, in celebration of Muldoon’s latest volume Lamenations and the three artists’ collaboration with Eighth Blackbird, Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak. The reading, presented by Princeton University’s Fund for Irish Studies, will take on place on Friday, February 23 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wallace Theater located at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus. This event is free and open to the public. Performances of Olagón are being presented on February 22 through 24.

Muldoon will be reading from his recently published collection Lamentations, which presents a translation of a classic Irish poem from the 18th-century and re-envisions the haunted narratives within. He will also read from his lauded Selected Poems 1968-2014, work selected from the past 45 years and drawn from 12 individual collections by the poet, hailed by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney as “one of the era’s true originals.”

The reading will include appearances by two of Muldoon’s recent collaborators on Olagón: A Cantata in Doublespeak.  This new work is an evening-length collaboration between the Grammy Award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird, Muldoon, Ó Lionáird, and Trueman. With text written by Muldoon in both English and Irish and based on the classic Irish tale Táin Bó Cúailnge, the cantata paints a narrative of hardship in contemporary Ireland with traditional music, such as sean nós, performed by Ó Lionáird and with stage direction by Mark DiChiazza. Performances will be held on February 22, 23, and 24 at 8:00 p.m. also in the Wallace Theater. Hosted by the Princeton Department of Music, Eighth Blackbird will be in residence at Princeton Sound Kitchen from February 20 through 26.

The Fund for Irish Studies, chaired by Princeton professor Clair Wills, affords all Princeton students, and the community at large, a wider and deeper sense of the languages, literatures, drama, visual arts, history, politics, and economics not only of Ireland but of “Ireland in the world.” The series is co-produced by the Lewis Center for the Arts. The spring 2018 edition of the series is organized by Fintan O’Toole, visiting lecturer in the Program in Theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts and acting chair of the Fund for Irish Studies.

Information about the Fund for Irish Studies series events can be found at fis.princeton.edu. The Fund for Irish Studies is generously sponsored by the Durkin Family Trust and the James J. Kerrigan, Jr. ’45 and Margaret M. Kerrigan Fund for Irish Studies. To learn more about the more than 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts, lectures and special events, most of them free, presented each year by the Lewis Center for the Arts, visit arts.princeton.edu.