Irish poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin links landscape, Irish cultural history, and legend in her debut collection of poetry, Bloodroot. She reads from the book at Teatro Paraguas on Sunday, Feb. 24, as part of her international tour.
She often employs landscape motifs in the context of ancestry. Ní Churreáin has noted that family loss is a universal experience, and one of the themes she often explores is family separation. In 1951, her grandmother gave birth to her father at the Castlepollard Mother and Baby Home in County Westmeath and then was forced to give him up for adoption because she was a single woman. “It is at this point in the history of the [Irish] state that poetry as a form of protest began like a code to write and rewrite itself into the DNA of who I am,” Ní Churreáin has said. When her work is political in nature, it often centers on women and their troubled interaction with patriarchal Irish authorities. No matter what her subject, vivid language and a sure voice are evident throughout Ní Churreáin’s work.
“I’m really looking forward to visiting New Mexico,” she said. “I grew up speaking Irish in a rural fishing village in northwest Donegal, so the desert is going to be a culture shock.” To hear Ní Churreáin read her poem “Sisters,” from Bloodroot, visit studiotwentyfive.com. Her New Mexico tour is partly funded by Culture Ireland, which promotes Irish arts worldwide. — Patricia Lenihan
Annemarie Ní Churreáin reads at Teatro Paraguas, 3205 Calle Marie, on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 5:30 p.m.