Emily of Holycross named UL Poet in Residence


Emily Cullen, a native of Holycross Ballycahill, has been named the Meskell UL Fifty First Poet in Residence in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Limerick.

Dr Cullen, a native of Farney Castle, Holycross is now a Galway-based poet, creative writing teacher, scholar, harpist and cultural producer, with extensive experience in both arts administration and la creative practice.

She has published three collections of poetry: Conditional Perfect (Doire Press, 2019), In Between Angels and Animals (Arlen House, 2013) and No Vague Utopia (Ainnir Publishing, 2003).

Music is one of the great themes of the collection, and in 2021 Emily received an Arts Council Agility Award for extending a sequence of monologues in the voices of the so-called “last of the harpists” of the Harp Assembly. of 1792 in a larger work.
Emily, daughter of Cyril and the late Margie Cullen – Margie only died last August – received a PhD in English from NUI Galway in 2008 and received an IRC Fellowship for her doctoral research on the Irish harp as as trope, icon and instrument.

A passionate teacher of creative writing, Emily considers pedagogy to be an integral part of her creative practice. In 2014, she taught poetry at the University of Melbourne and subsequently developed creative writing courses for the School of English and the Center for Adult Education at NUIG.

In addition to poetry, Emily frequently publishes essays on aspects of Irish music and cultural history.

She was Head of Arts at NUI Galway, Director of Centenary Patrick Kavanagh in 2004 and Director of the Cúirt International Literature Festival between 2017 and 2019.

Dr Cullen will participate in UL’s Creative Writing Program as Poet in Residence from early February to late November 2022.
She joins a team of teachers including acclaimed novelists Donal Ryan de Nenagh and Kit de Waal with young adult author Sarah Moore Fitzgerald and poet Eoin Devereux.

Commenting on the appointment, Creative Writing Program Leader Prof. Joseph O’Connor said: “I extend my heartfelt thanks to Paddy and Darlene Meskell, whose generous support made this new role possible at UL Creative Writing. We are all extremely excited. to have a writer and teacher of Emily Cullen’s talents join the team. As UL approaches its 50th anniversary in 2022/2023, it is wonderful that our relationship with the creative arts is deepening.


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