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RISE 4.2 is a festive anniversary tribute to one of Ireland’s most eminent poets Medbh McGuckian. The articles to be found in this issue address McGuckian’s expansive oeuvre through a number of diverse foci. These range from the work’s engagement with political violence during the Troubles and their competing representations in cultural memory; through considerations of the commemorative thrust of individual poems and collections; and questions of knowledge, faith and scepticism; to the prominence of the image and the visual in McGuckian’s poetics. The question of reading is brought up repeatedly in these pages, be it concerned with the reception of McGuckian’s poetry or her writing method, based on the reading of texts by others. In their diverse approaches to the poet’s work these articles demonstrate that while McGuckian’s own art begins with an act of reading, in her act of writing she instructs us in the art of reading.
Keywords: McGuckian, Medbh; Irish poetry; Northern Irish poetry; the Troubles; intertextuality; reading
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