Sinéad Morrissey, a leading figure in contemporary British poetry and winner of the prestigious literary award, the T.S.Eliot Prize, will speak about the origins of her poetry, her inspiration and her family’s connection to Russia within the frames of «Books in the Park» project.
She will read extracts from her fifth collection «Parallax» unanimously acclaimed for its lyrical beauty and political, historical, and personal ambition. Five poems about the Soviet Union occupy a special place in the collection: appearing at different points in the book, they represent the author’s attempt to define a phenomenon that she calls «parallax» — displacement of a point of view. For example, in the poem, «Shostakovich» parallax appears in the dual perception of music: it is well known that Stalin hated Shostakovich’s opera, but adored his Fifth Symphony, which made it approved Soviet music which, of course, it was not. The parallax there is that music can have two meanings.
Sinéad Morrissey was born in Northern Ireland in 1972 and raised in Belfast. She graduated from Trinity College, Dublin and has lived in Germany, Japan and New Zealand. In 1999 she returned to Northern Ireland. Sinéad has published five collections of poetry: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996); Between Here and There (2002); The State of the Prisons (2005); Through the Square Window (2009) and Parallax (2013). Her awards include the Patrick Kavanagh Award (1990), the Eric Gregory Award (1996), the Eithne and Rupert Strong Award, (2002), the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize (2006), and a Lannan Literary Fellowship (USA, 2007). She won first prize in the UK National Poetry Competition in 2007, as well as winning the TS Eliot Prize in 2013.Between 2002–2005 Sinéad taught literature and creative writing at Queen’s University, Belfast. Since 2007 she has been lecturing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. In 2013, she was Belfast’s inaugural Poet Laureate.