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Leading poet Paul Muldoon entrances audience

18 December 2007

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon enthralled a large audience at the University with a selection of readings from and about Wales.

The Northern Irish poet gave a free public reading of Welsh-themed poems, including many of his own, at the Concert Hall. The event was part of the Wales-Ireland seminar series, designed to explore the cultural and political links between the two.

Paul Muldoon has published ten collections of poetry, winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for the collection Moy Sand and Gravel. The Times Education Supplement praised him as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War." Much of Muldoon’s work draws on Welsh material, including his prize-winning long poem Madoc. This is an imaginative and playful retelling of the legend of Prince Madoc, who is claimed to have discovered American long before Columbus.

Event organiser Dr Claire Connolly of the School of English, Communications and Philosophy said: "Paul Muldoon’s reading attracted a large and varied audience - school children from Merthyr Tydfil sat alongside Cardiff University students and staff as well as politicians and figures from the media. Wales's first national poet, Gwyneth Lewis, was also in attendance, along with a strong showing of other local writers. All were entranced by the scholarly, witty and often moving readings of Welsh and Irish poetry by a writer who brilliantly exemplifies an innovative intersection between creative and critical scholarship."

The event, supported by the Cardiff Humanities Research Institute and Academi and Culture Ireland, was the first in a series of seminars organised by the new Ireland-Wales Research Network to explore the creative, cultural, and political relationships between Wales and Ireland. The Network, a partnership of Cardiff and Aberystwyth Universities, aims to develop a deeper awareness of the overlapping histories of Wales and Ireland and contribute to a fuller understanding of the interconnected pasts of Britain and Ireland.