News Release: Arts and Humanities, International, People

Jun. 29,  2010

Irish Poet Places Papers at Emory

Grennan Acquisition Expands Library's Irish Literary Collection

Eaamon Grennan Eamon Grennan


Eamon Grennan and Kevin Young, curator of literary collections and of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at MARBL, discuss poetry.

Irish poet Eamon Grennan has placed his papers with Emory University's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL).

"We couldn't be more pleased to welcome both Eamon and his papers to Emory," says Naomi Nelson, interim director of MARBL. The collection contains poem drafts, poetry notebooks, academic papers and lectures, handwritten personal journals and electronic records.

Grennan's papers join a world-renowned Irish literary collection at MARBL, which includes the papers of writers and poets such as W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon.

"Being a fellow inhabitant of what I feel is an Irish village there in Emory pleases me very much, feels right to me in ways no other location could," Grennan said by e-mail in early June. "I believe that this accumulation of Irish work there in Emory will be of great benefit to anyone thinking about and/or writing about Irish literature of the past 100 years or so."

Kevin Young, curator of literary collections and of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at MARBL, announced the pending acquisition when Grennan was a guest reader in April as part of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library Reading Series.

Grennan said at the reading he felt that with his papers being placed at MARBL, he had another home at Emory. "I will, every so often, have to visit myself," he said.

A Dublin native and Irish citizen, Grennan has lived in the United States for more than three decades. He was educated at University College in Dublin and Harvard University and taught at Vassar College for 30 years, where he was the Dexter M. Ferry Jr. Professor of English.

Young visited Grennan's Vassar office in late May to pack up the papers and said the collection includes about 170 journals and many drafts, including some that date from the late 1960s when Grennan was in Rome, during the time he met American poet Ezra Pound and other expatriate writers.

"You can really get a sense of his writing process from draft to computer to revision to even publication," Young says of the breadth of the collection. "He's an international writer who really expands our Irish and poetry holdings in an exciting way."

Grennan is considered one of the premier poets and translators working today. His books include "Leopardi: Selected Poems," which earned the 1997 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and his own "Still Life with Waterfall," which received the Lenore Marshall Award for Poetry from the American Academy of Poets. His next book, "Out of Sight: New and Selected Poems," is due out in July.

Originally posted on June 14, 2010

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