Walt Hunter

Speculations: new Irish poetry

Local objects

The current period of globalization features massive debt-to-GDP ratios in former colonial countries. With the constant servicing of debt payments annihilating the possibility of public goods (recently here: water), tourism and remittances from abroad have emerged as the primary sources of capital for the economies of the south.


Views from Thoor Ballylee

Last night my cousin Sarah Nic Pháidín and I drove to Thoor Ballylee, some 30 kilometers or so outside Galway. Yeats bought the tower (or fortress/castle, more accurately) in 1916 for a nominal sum, becoming, as one of his sisters noted at the time with a typical mix of wry humor and affection, the first Yeats to own property in Ireland.

The cheap seats

Rachel Warriner's lament

Rachel Warriner’s Fine Lament (Critical Documents, 2013) doesn't place its faith in language, or in a correspondence between word and world. The words are instruments for setting forth something that exceeds them. To this end, the words that do appear are fungible, inessential, rearranged. There's an idea that, in lyric especially, each word is the product of a careful process of selection from many alternatives, and that reading the poem is to perceive, above all, this honed skill or craft.


A conversation about new media, Irish poetry, and place

I sat down for lunch today with Anne Karhio to talk about Irish poetry and new media technologies. Anne holds an ELEVATE Irish Research Council International Career Development Fellowship, co-funded by Marie Curie Actions. Our conversation was punctuated at regular intervals by parades of schoolchildren, disgorged by giant white Bus Eireann schoolbuses into the sidewalk and spilling into the street.

News from Cork

Archives of an Irish avant-garde

Last week, still blinking in the sunshine in Cork, Lindsay and I met the poets James Cummins and Rachel Warriner (and their young son Walt) for coffee. Jimmy and Rachel have been at the center of the experimental poetry scene in Cork for over a decade. They've co-edited the small presses DEFAULT and RunAmok. And they've co-organized the influential SoundEye festival, founded by Trevor Joyce, Catriona Ryan, and Matthew Geden, which continues to feature an extaordinary line-up of contemporary poets.