Episode 12

What Is My Nation?

Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Molly Twomey, Harry Clifton, Poetry Ireland

In Partnership with Poetry Ireland

Part 1: Poems of citizenship, identity, myth, and cultural & national belonging by Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Molly Twomey & Harry Clifton

As part of Ulysses 2.2, Poetry Ireland has commissioned three leading poets to respond to Episode 12: Cyclops, traversing themes of citizenship, identity, myth, and cultural and national belonging.

The Citizen's Wife by Molly Twomey

Molly Twomey has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, the Irish Times, Crannóg, Mslexia, Cyphers, The Stinging Fly, and elsewhere. She has won the Padraic Colum Poetry Prize (2019), the Waterford Poetry Prize (2020), the Eavan Boland Mentorship Award (2021) and was chosen for Poetry Ireland’s Introductions Series (2021). She runs an online international poetry event, Just to Say, sponsored by Jacar Press. Recently awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary, her debut collection will be published in May 2022 with The Gallery Press.

The Has-Beens by Harry Clifton

Harry Clifton was born in Dublin but has lived in Africa and Asia as well as more recently in Europe. Besides his travel memoir On the Spine of Italy, and the critical writings of Ireland and its Elsewheres, his collections of poems include Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004, The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass, The Holding Centre: Selected Poems 1974-2004 and more recently Portobello Sonnets and Herod’s Dispensations. He has taught at Bremen and Bordeaux universities as well as at University College Dublin, from which he received an Honorary D.Litt in 2011. He was Ireland Professor of Poetry from 2010 to 2013, and is currently Adjunct Professor of Creative Practice at Trinity College Dublin – of which, earlier this year, he was made an Honorary Fellow.

And Our Eyes Are On Europe by Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe

Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe is a poet, pacifist and fabulist. The recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council of Ireland and the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award, she currently serves on the Advisory Boards of Culture Ireland and Diversifying Irish Poetry. Auguries of a Minor God, her first collection, was published with Faber & Faber in 2021.


Part 2: Bloomsday Soapbox Poetry

In celebration of Bloomsday on Thursday 16 June 2022, six leading contemporary poets performed on the streets of Dublin in response to Episode 12: Cyclops of Ulysses. John Cummins, Sophie Meehan, Emmet Kirwan, Trudie Gorman, Meg Mulcahy, and Grace Wilentz performed work that speaks to the episode's themes of citizenship, identity, cultural and national belonging, myth, and hyperbole, and Dublin itself.

Commissioned by ANU, Landmark Productions and MoLI in partnership with Poetry Ireland for Ulysses 2.2.

John Cummins has been writing for over 20 years and performing since early 2010. He is a three-time Leinster Poetry Slam Champion, and the 2013/2014 All-Ireland Poetry Slam Champion. John is often a featured artists at showcase nights around his native Dublin as well as Galway and Cork. He has also performed at festivals across the country, including Electric Picnic, Indiependence, and Knockanstockan. He contributes regularly to the arts show Arena on RTE Radio 1. 

Sophie Meehan is a poet and interdisciplinary artist from Dublin 8. Her poems have appeared with Crannóg, The Honest Ulsterman, District Magazine, Turf & Grain, RTÉ Culture and on Dublin Bus in association with Poetry Ireland. She was a selected poet in Poetry Ireland's Introductions Series in 2016. Sophie is a co-founder of the Working-Class Writing Archive with Dr. Emma Penney. She has just completed her unpublished debut poetry collection.

Emmet Kirwan is an award-winning actor, playwright, and poet from Tallaght. For over 15 years Emmet has worked in theatre here and abroad, performing at The Abbey, The Gate, and The National Theatre, as well as working with leading theatre companies such as Rough Magic, Fishamble, and This Is Pop Baby. His spoken word poetry play ‘Dublin Oldschool’ has played seven sell-out runs in Project Arts Centre and was adapted for film. He is currently working on a new collection of poetry which will form part of new theatre show ‘Accents’ and will be accompanied by live music.

Trudie Gorman is a working-class writer from Dublin whose work explores the personal and political interplay between class, gender, and the body. Trudie has performed her poetry across Ireland and the UK and has published pieces in Poetry NI, Two Metre Review and The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working-Class Voices. Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio London. Trudie was selected for Poetry Ireland Versify Series 2019. She was also shortlisted for the Creative Future Writer’s Award 2019 and for the Norman Houston Multi-disciplinary Commissioning Award 2022. She was awarded a residency with the Centre Culturel Irlandais to take place in 2022. Trudie has just completed her unpublished debut poetry pamphlet.

Meg Mulcahy received a place in Poetry Ireland’s Introductions series 2022, and her work has appeared in An Capall Dorcha, Janus Literary and the Pendemic project for the Irish Poetry Reading Archive at University College Dublin, as well as several publications in the U.S. Her work includes prize-winning flash fiction and The Neon Number zine. She reads fiction for Okay Donkey and is working towards her debut poetry collection.

Grace Wilentz is the author of The Limit of Light (The Gallery Press, 2020) which was named one of the best poetry books of the year in The Irish Times and The Irish Independent. She is currently a recipient of the Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.


Pop-up Street Poetry
16 June – 16 June 2022
5-7pm, Smithfield (Various Locations)

In celebration of Bloomsday on Thursday 16 June, six leading contemporary poets performed on the streets of Dublin in response to the Cyclops episode of Ulysses. 

Featured Artist

Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe
Molly Twomey
Harry Clifton
Poetry Ireland

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