Jean Bleakney (née Kerr) was born in Newry in 1956. She studied biochemistry at Queen's and worked in the Department of Medicine for eight years. She began attending writing workshops at Queen's during the early 1990s when Carol Rumens was Writer in Residence. Her two collections of poetry are The Ripple Tank Experiment (1999) and The Poet's Ivy (2003), both from Lagan Press. She works in a garden centre in Carryduff.
Douglas Dunn was born in Renfrewshire in 1942. He is the author of many acclaimed books of poetry and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Whitbread Book of the Year for Elegies (Faber & Faber, 1985). He is Professor of English and Director of the Scottish Studies Institute at St Andrew's University.
Leontia Flynn, Research Fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, was born in 1974. She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2001, and her first collection These Days (Cape 2004) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. She was selected as one of twenty ‘Next Generation Poets' in a Guardian promotion the same year. She has also written a PhD thesis on the poetry of Medbh McGuckian, which she is currently preparing for publication. Her second collection of poetry, Drives, is due from Cape in 2008.
The poet, novelist, essayist and playwright Tess Gallagher was born in 1943 in Port Angeles, Washington. Her honours include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, the Maxine Cushing Gray Foundation Award and the Elliston Award. She was married to the short story writer Raymond Carver until his death in 1988. Her most recent collection of poems, Dear Ghosts, was published in 2006.
Miriam Gamble was born in 1980, and is a final year
postgraduate student at Queen’s, where she is working towards the completion of
a PhD thesis on form, genre and lyric subjectivity in contemporary British and
Irish poetry. She has published poems in Fortnight,
The Rialto and on Tower Poetry’s website, has written
reviews and features for Fortnight, The New Statesman and culturebase.net,
and is currently attempting to put together a first collection.
Alan Gillis is Lecturer in English at The University of Edinburgh. The author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (OUP 2005), his debut poetry book Somebody, Somewhere (Gallery) won the Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for Best First Collection in 2004, and was shortlisted for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. His second collection Hawks and Doves (Gallery) has been shortlisted for the 2007 T. S. Eliot Prize.
Kathleen Jamie was born in Renfrewshire in 1962. Her most recent poetry collection, The Tree House, was the winner of the 2004 Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection and was the 2005 Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year. She is Lecturer in Creative Writing at St Andrew's University.
Matt Kirkham was born in Luton in 1966, lives in the Ards peninsula, and works as a teacher. He was featured in Blackstaff's New Soundings anthology of writing from the QUB writers' group, and in Lagan Press's Poetry Introductions 1. His collection The Lost Museums won the 2007 Rupert and Eithne Strong Award for a first collection.
Born in Lanarkshire in 1947, Liz Lochhead is one of
Michael Longley was born in Belfast in 1939 and educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. After reading classics at Trinity College, Dublin, he taught in schools in Belfast, Dublin and London. He joined the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 1970, working in literature and the traditional arts as Combined Arts Director before taking early retirement from the post in 1991. He was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2001.
Aifric Mac Aodha was born in Dublin in 1979. Her poems have been published in several magazines, including Poetry Ireland, Innti and Bliainiris. She has won many prizes for her poetry and was recently awarded an Arts Council endowment. She is working on her first collection of poetry.
Peter Mackay is the Seamus Heaney Centre Research Fellow attached to the AHRC Centre
for Irish and Scottish Studies project 'Relations and Comparison's
between Irish and Scottish Poetry: 1890 to the Present Day'. Born on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, Peter writes poems and prose, largely in Scots Gaelic.
Iain S Macpherson was born in Canada. For ten years he lived in Sleat on the Isle of Skye where he was a lecturer in the Gaelic college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. He now works for the University of Ulster. As well as writing (poetry, prose and scripts) he reports on affairs in the Middle East and the Muslim world for Radio nan Gaidheal.
Medbh McGuckian was born in Belfast where she lives with her family. Her collections of poetry include: The Flower Master (1982), Venus and the Rain (1984), On Ballycastle Beach (1988), Marconi's Cottage (1992), Captain Lavender (1995), Shelmalier (1998), and Drawing Ballerinas (2001). Her Selected Poems 1978-1994 was published in 1997. Among the prizes she has won are: the British National Poetry Competition, the Cheltenham Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett prize, the Rooney Prize and the American Ireland Fund Literary Award. She has been Writer-in-Residence at Queen's University and at the University of Ulster; Visiting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley; and Writer-Fellow at Trinity College Dublin.
Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin is an author, singer and writer of songs. She is the first Traditional Singer at Queen’s University and her residency is based in the Seamus Heaney Centre. She is author of the critically acclaimed A Hidden Ulster - people, songs and traditions of Oriel (Four Courts Press) 2003) and has recorded six albums of traditional songs. Her most recent CD Áilleacht (Gael Linn CEFCD 189, 2005) is a selection of her own compositions which include settings for contemporary poetry in Irish. She has been a recipient of many awards including a Major Arts Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Cultural Relations Council.
Justin Quinn was born in 1968 and has published four collections of poetry, most recently Waves & Trees (Gallery 2006). He has published 2 studies of 20th century American poetry and his Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry, 1800-2000, is forthcoming in the spring, as are his translations of the contemporary Czech poet Petr Borkovec (Seren). He works at the Charles University, Prague.
Nuala Reilly is from Derry. She is a member of the University of the Third Age and was on creative writing course in 1999 in the University of Ulster and in Queen’s University when Micheál Ó Conghaile was the writer in residence. Her poem 'Rang Potaireachta' won The Strokestown Irish/ Gaelic Language Poetry Competition 2005.
David Wheatley is the author of three poetry collections with Gallery Press: Thirst (1997), Misery Hill (2000), and Mocker (2006). He was a founding editor of the poetry journal Metre and lectures at the University of Hull. He has also edited the work of James Clarence Mangan and is a widely published critic.
Christopher Whyte is a critic and freelance writer based in
Alex Wylie was born in Blackpool, Lancashire in 1980, to mixed English and Maltese parents. He attended the Universities of Central Lancashire and Durham before coming to Queen’s to read for a doctorate in modern and contemporary poetry. He has poems forthcoming in Stand and has been published in Agenda’s ‘Broadsheet Poets’ feature. He also has poems forthcoming in the Queen’s University anthology Tide Lines.