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Urban and Rural Landscapes in Modern Ireland

Language, Literature and Culture

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Irene Gilsenan Nordin and Carmen Zamorano Llena

The central theme of landscape has long been associated with the construction and expression of Irish national identity, particularly in relation to rural Ireland, which traditionally has been regarded as an important source of national heritage and culture. Associated with this preoccupation is the rural/urban divide that has characterised traditional representations of Ireland, especially since the end of the nineteenth century. The twentieth century saw dramatic changes to both rural and urban Ireland. The Celtic Tiger economy and the post-Tiger context have also seen momentous transformations in the Irish landscape. This book analyses the relationship between the rural and the urban and explores the way it is reflected in Irish literature, culture and language from the turn of the twentieth century to the present day. Among others, the work of John Hewitt, Liam O’Flaherty, Moya Cannon, Paula Meehan, Thomas Kinsella and Eavan Boland is analysed, through a variety of perspectives including cultural studies, linguistics, literary studies and ecocriticism.

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Part IV - Poetic Landscapes 157

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PART IV Poetic Landscapes Irene Gilsenan Nordin ‘The Habits of Attention’: Landscape and Place. An Interview with Moya Cannon Moya Cannon was born in Dunfanaghy in Co Donegal in 1956 and lives in Galway. She studied history and politics at University College, Dublin, and international relations at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She has taught at the National University of Ireland in Galway, in the Gaelscoil in Inchicore, Dublin, and in a school for adolescent travellers in Galway. Her first collection of poems Oar (Salmon Publishing, 1990; Poolbeg Press, 1994; Gallery Press, 2000) won the 1991 Brendan Behan Memorial Prize, for the best first collection published in Ireland in the previous year. Her second book, The Parchment Boat was published by Gallery Press, 1997. Carrying the Songs: New and Selected Poems was published by Carcanet Press in 2007. She was editor of Poetry Ireland Review in 1995, and has been writer-in-residence at Trent University, Ontario, and at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. In 2001 Moya Cannon was presented with the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. She was elected to Aosdána, the af filiation of Irish writers and visual artists, in 2004. She has been 2011 Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies at the University of Villanova. Moya Cannon’s poetry shows a keen awareness of the natural world and focuses on the themes of landscape, place and dwelling, where the relationship between literature and the physical environment is explored. For Cannon the landscape has a very special significance, closely associated with the...

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