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Distich: Two Lines of Poetry

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Poetry Ireland

11 Parnell Square East

D01 ND60 Dublin

Ireland

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An evening of poetry and conversations with Doris Kareva (Estonia) and Paula Meehan (Ireland), introduced by poet and translator Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov.

Doris Kareva was born in 1958 in Tallinn and studied English language and literature at the University of Tartu. Working as the literary editor, she was the Secretary-General of the Estonian National Commission for UNESCO for 16 years.

She has published 14 collections of poetry and one collection of essays and her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Her poetry has been staged and has been set to music many times.

She has also been a mentor for young poets and has translated kindred spirits of hers: Anna Akhmatova, Emily Dickinson, Joseph Brodsky, Kahlil Gibran, W.H. Auden, Samuel Beckett, Shakespeare and Irish contemporary poetry. Doris has received two national cultural prizes among literary prizes and was awarded the Order of the White Star in 2001. Her most recent collection, Days of Grace, is reviewed here.

Paula Meehan was born and raised in the north inner city of Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Eastern Washington University in the U.S. Her work has garnered both critical and popular acclaim and her poetry has been translated into French, German, Galician, Italian, Japanese, Estonian, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, Macedonian, Portuguese, Polish and Irish.

She has received many awards including the Butler Literary Award for Poetry presented by the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, The Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry 2015 and the PPI Award for Radio Drama.

Paula was Ireland Professor of Poetry 2013-2016 and her public lectures from these years, Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, was published by UCD Press in 2016. Her Collected Poems will be published in 2020.

Miriam McIlfatrick-Ksenofontov is a translator and poet, born in County Antrim and living in Estonia since 1992. She lectures at Tallinn University, where she is completing her doctoral thesis on translating poetry. She translates Estonian poetry for print publication and performance and frequently collaborates with artists and musicians.

Her most recent translation is Doris Kareva’s Days of Grace (Bloodaxe, 2018), which received the Cultural Endowment of Estonia Translation Award for 2018. Her own poetry has appeared in Estonian translation by Doris Kareva and she was awarded the 2015 annual prize for poetry by the Estonian literary journal Looming (Creation).

Kindly supported by the Embassy of Estonia in Dublin and the Embassy of Ireland in Tallinn.

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11 Parnell Square East

D01 ND60 Dublin

Ireland

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