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Two Pathfinder Women: Moya Cannon & Mary O'Donnell

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Moya Cannon & Mary O'Donnell (moderated by Sarah Byrne)

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Moya Cannon is an Irish poet. Her Collected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2021) brings together poems from six previous books, Oar (1990), The Parchment Boat (1997), Carrying the Songs (1907), Hands (2011), Keats Lives (2015) and Donegal Tarantella (2019), more than three decades’ work, a poetry of individual poems which compose a memorable, unpredictable sequence of discovery. She was born and grew up in Co. Donegal, spent most of her adult life in Galway and now lives in Dublin. In her poems, history, archaeology, pre-historic art, geology and music figure as gateways to deeper understanding of our mysterious relationship with the natural world and with our past. Buy Collected Poems from Carcanet and visit the poet's website.

Mary O'Donnell’s work is often cited as key in expanding the horizons of Ireland’s traditionally male-dominated literary world. Eight poetry collections include Unlegendary Heroes, Those April Fevers, and Massacre of the Birds. Four novels include Where They Lie and the best-selling debut The Light Makers, reissued in 2017. Her short fiction collections are Strong Pagans (1991), Storm over Belfast (2008) and Empire (2018). An essay, “My Mother in Drumlin Country”, published in New Hibernia Review during 2017, was listed among the Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2017 in Best American Essays (Mariner). A member of Aosdana, she holds a PhD in Creative Writing from University College Cork. Buy Those April Fevers from Arc Publications and visit the poet's website.

Sarah Byrne (moderator) is an Irish writer, editor and mime artist based in Paris. She has been looking for her dog since 1984. She is founder of the arts organisation The Well Review.

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