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Two Poets – Bestsellers in Prose: Doireann Ní Ghríofa & Ben Okri

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa & Ben Okri (moderated by Kimberly Reyes)

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa is a poet and essayist. A Ghost in the Throat finds an 18th-century poet haunting a young mother, prompting her to turn detective. It was voted Irish Book of the Year 2020, and described as “glowing” (Anne Enright), “captivatingly original” (The Guardian), “sumptuous” (The Sunday Times), and a “masterpiece” (Sunday Business Post). Doireann is also author of six critically-acclaimed books of poetry, each a deepening exploration of birth, death, desire, and domesticity. Awards for her writing include a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA), the Ostana Prize (Italy), a Seamus Heaney Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Buy To Star the Dark from Dedalus Press and visit the poet's website.

Ben Okri was born in Minna, Nigeria. His childhood was divided between Nigeria, where he saw first hand the consequences of war, and London. He is a poet, novelist, essayist, short story writer, anthologist, aphorist, and playwright. his poem for Grenfell Tower was watched more than 6 million times on Channel 4 News' Facebook page. A Fire in My Head, new and recently completed poems, covers topics of the day, such as the refugee crisis, racism, Obama, and the Grenfell Tower. Buy A Fire in My Head from Waterstones and visit the poet's website.

Kimberly Reyes (moderator) is an award-winning poet, essayist, literary and cultural critic who began her career as a music and entertainment reporter. She is the author of the poetry collections Running to Stand Still (Omnidawn 2019), finalist for the 2020 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and for Civil Coping Mechanism’s 2017 Mainline Competition, and Warning Coloration (dancing girl press 2018), finalist for the Two Sylvias Press 2017 Chapbook Competition, and the essay collection Life During Wartime (Fourteen Hills 2019), winner of the 2018 Michael Rubin Prose Chapbook Award. Kimberly was selected as the 2019-2020 Fulbright Scholar to study Irish Literature and Film at University College Cork. She currently sits on the Irish Fulbright Commission's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board. Buy Running to Stand Still from Omnidawn and visit the poet's website.

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