Trinity College, DUBLIN - Launch of
Date: Friday, May 26, 2017
Venue: The Emmet Theatre, Arts Block, Trinity College, Dublin
With launch introduction by PAULA MEEHAN
This powerful debut collection takes us back to ‘the hatchling, nestling, fledgling grounds’ of Finglas where Rachael Hegarty was born and reared. Portrait of a working class community, portrait of a dispossessed and politically betrayed community, portrait of a self-reliant, proud, and supportive community — ultimately it is a portrait made with love and gratitude, to family, to neighbours, to friends of her youth, feral and otherwise, to teachers and to her own students, by a sophisticated and knacky literary artist of the highest integrity. This is a joyous and clear eyed book that draws on and augments the song tradition of an artistically rich area of north Dublin, a lyric tradition that encompasses Bono and Dermot Bolger; it opens that tradition to the critique and edge of contemporary poetry practice, and to the winds of Japan, Boston, Walden Pond, Emily Dickinson’s Garden. Compassionate to the living and to the dead alike, this poet stakes her ground, as mother, as lover, as artist, as link in the eternal and marvellous chain of being.
Rachel Hegarty’s debut collection of poems of Dublin life are richly steeped in the authenticity of earned experience. They superbly conjure her native city – its old streets, new housing estates and people – with astute observations and insight that immerse the reader in the breathing heart of a metropolis that is ancient and yet constantly changing; whose history, fault-lines and humanity are exposed in richly varied poems that memorably address the human condition with wit, panache and compassion.
Rachael Hegarty was born seventh child of a seventh child in Dublin and reared on the Northside. She was educated by the Holy Faith Sisters in Finglas, the U. Mass. Bostonians in America, the M.Phillers at Trinity and by the Ph.D. magicians at Queens. She lived, studied and worked in Boston and Japan for ten years. She is widely published in national and international journals and broadcast on RTE Radio. Rachael was the winner of the Francis Ledwidge Prize and Over the Edge New Writer of the Year. She was also shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writer and Ver Poetry Prizes and highly commended for the Forward Poetry Prizes. She is an educator for the Trinity Access Programme and CDETB but reckons she learns more from her students than she can ever teach. She now lives, back on the Northside, with her feminist husband and two beloved-bedlam boys.