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24 Jan 2022

University of Limerick confirms appointment of inaugural 'Poet in Residence'

University of Limerick confirms appointment of inaugural 'Poet in Residence'

Emily Cullen will take up the role early next year 

EMILY Cullen has been appointed as the inaugural Meskell UL-Fifty Poet in Residence at University of Limerick’s Creative Writing programme. 

Dr Cullen is a Galway-based poet, Creative Writing teacher, scholar, harper and cultural producer, with extensive experience both in arts administration and creative practice.

She has published three poetry collections: Conditional Perfect (Doire Press, 2019), In Between Angels and Animals (Arlen House, 2013) and No Vague Utopia (Ainnir Publishing, 2003). 

Music is one of the larger themes of the collection and, in 2021, Emily received an Arts Council Agility Award to expand a sequence of monologues in the voices of the so-called ‘last of the harpers’ of the 1792 Harp Assembly into a larger work.

Her first play, entitled Restrung! has resulted and Emily hopes to see it realised on stage during the International Year of the Harp, 2022. 

Emily gained a PhD in English from NUI Galway in 2008 and she was awarded an IRC fellowship for her doctoral research on the Irish harp as trope, icon and instrument. 

A passionate teacher of Creative Writing, Emily views pedagogy as integral to her creative practice. In 2014, she taught Poetry at the University of Melbourne and subsequently developed Creative Writing courses for the School of English and Centre for Adult Education at NUIG. 

In addition to poetry, Emily frequently publishes essays on aspects of Irish music and cultural history. She has served as Arts Officer of NUI Galway, Director of the Patrick Kavanagh Centenary in 2004 and Director of Cúirt International Festival of Literature between 2017 and 2019. 

Dr Cullen will be with UL’s Creative Writing programme as Poet in Residence from start of February to end of November 2022. 

She joins a teaching team including acclaimed novelists Donal Ryan and Kit de Waal with Young Adult author Sarah Moore Fitzgerald and poet Eoin Devereux. 

Commenting on the appointment, Leader of the Creative Writing programme, Professor Joseph O’Connor, said: "I extend heartfelt thanks to Paddy and Darlene Meskell, whose generous support has made this new role possible at UL Creative Writing. We are all immensely excited to have a writer and teacher of Emily Cullen’s talents join the team. As UL approaches its fiftieth anniversary year of 2022/23, it’s wonderful that our relationship with the creative arts is deepening."

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