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25/10/2021

Steinbeck anniversary talk to take place tonight

Irish-American poet Julie Kane will take part.

Steinbeck anniversary talk to take place tonight

An Irish-American poet is set to discuss her County Derry ancestry and how it has affected her current work in an online lecture this evening.

The lecture, run by Limavady Area Ancestry and presented by Stephen McCracken, Rev Rhys Jones and Fiona Pegrum, will also include a 10-minute talk on John Steinbeck by former Head Belfast Linen Hall Librarian John Gray.

Julie Kane is the great-grandchild of John O’Kane of Magilligan. A past Louisiana State Poet Laureate and Fulbright Scholar, she has published five books of poetry, the most recent of which is Mothers of Ireland (LSU Press, 2020).

Of that book, critic Annie Finch has written : “What a labor of love this book is: love for place and roots, for family and ancestors, for poetry and its traditions, for healing and survival.

”Mysteries of time and lineage, family tales and traumas, ancient ballads and Kane’s signature villanelles interweave like Celtic knots in an heirloom piece of jewelry.”

Awards for Kane’s poetry include an Academy of American Poets Prize, National Poetry Series selection, and the Donald Justice Poetry Prize.

Her poems appear in more than sixty anthologies including Best American Poetry 2016 and The Book of Irish American Poets from the Eighteenth Century to the Present.

Professor Emertitus of English at North Western State University of Louisiana, she currently teaches in the low-residency poetry MFA program at Western Colorado University.

Julie Kane will speak about her O’Kane family members in Magilligan and Limavady and their descendants in the U.S., including silent film star Gail Kane and 101ST US Airborne Battle of the Bulge veteran and national radio/TV newscaster Edwin J. Kane.

She will also discuss how her poems have been influenced by family stories and research into her Irish ancestry.

The lecture can be accessed using Zoom ID 81380035540 or via the following link: https://zoom.us/j/81380035540

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