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Irish poet Colette Bryce named 2018 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University

Colette Bryce

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has selected acclaimed Irish poet Colette Bryce as the 2018 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies in its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The visiting writer-in-residence program offers Irish Studies students the enriching experience of a close classroom experience with one of Ireland’s finest contemporary poets.

Bryce has published four poetry collections including The Full Indian Rope Trick (Picador, 2004); Self-Portrait in the Dark (2008); and The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), which was awarded a special Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney. She received the Cholmondeley Award for poetry in 2010.

Selected Poems (2017), which draws on all of Bryce’s books, recently received a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. In reviewing the collection, The Irish Times noted: “Selected Poems shows that hers is a singular, original body of work.”

Born in Derry, Ireland, Bryce was most recently an Irish Writer Fellow at Trinity College in Dublin. A gifted teacher, Bryce has also held fellowships at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Manchester, Newcastle University, the University of Dundee and the University of Durham. She consistently weaves political history in Northern Ireland, her identity as a gay female writer and her childhood into her work.

“I see poetry as a faithful kind of art, and I think faith in love, the idea of love as a solution, can be the thing that guides us,” she says.  

The Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies, inaugurated in 2000, has become one of the most prestigious Irish Studies positions in the United States. Former Heimbold Chairs include luminaries from the Irish literary arts including Owen McCafferty, Peter Fallon, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Eamon Greenan, Marina Carr, Vona Groarke, Conor O’Callaghan, Michael Coady, Sebastian Barry, Justin Quinn, Claire Keegan, Gerald Dawe, John McAuliffe, Moya Cannon, Hugh Hamilton, Mary O’Malley and Eamonn Wall.

Villanova’s Center for Irish Studies provides collaborative, interdisciplinary courses open to all Villanova University students to study Ireland and its diaspora. Home to of one of the nation’s oldest and largest undergraduate curriculums of its kind, the Center also offers an exchange program with the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland. The Center for Irish Studies has been made possible by a generous gift from the Connelly Foundation.

For more on Bryce, click here.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.