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WFU Press wins NEA funds to publish Irish poetry anthology


September 24, 2007

Wake Forest University Press has been chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts to publish an anthology of Northern Irish poetry through the endowment’s International Literary Exchange program.

NEA’s International Literary Exchange funds U.S.-based literary presses to publish and promote contemporary literary anthologies in translation.  An important component of each project is substantial public outreach to bring writers of the participating countries to the United States for readings and discussions and to send U.S. authors to the partner countries to engage with audiences there. 

Wake Forest University Press will receive $35,000 from the NEA to publish 2,000 paperback copies of the anthology featuring poems by 30 Northern Irish poets born in 1955 or later.  The editor of the anthology, tentatively titled “The New North,” is poet Chris Agee, editor of Irish Pages, a journal of contemporary writing published in Belfast.  Agee is a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry (Chicago) and Metre.  He teaches at the Open University in Ireland and edits Irish Pages.

The NEA’s partner in Northern Ireland, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will work with Irish Pages to publish an anthology of 30 contemporary U.S. poets. Harvey Hix, a 2006 finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry will edit the anthology.  Hix is the author of books of poetry, criticism and essays, and was awarded a Creative Writing fellowship from the NEA in 1995. 

The NEA informed Wake Forest University Press about the literary exchange because of its 31-year history of publishing Irish poetry in the United States.

"We were delighted to be chosen as the American publisher of the Northern Irish anthology,” said Wake Forest Press Assistant Director Candide Jones.  “This book is a wonderful way to showcase new poets from the North as well as the more-established poets who have influenced them.  It will fit in beautifully with our list of books by poets from both Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

Wake Forest University Press was one of three publishers selected through a national competition to receive funding for International Literary Exchange projects.  The other recipients are Dalkey Archive Press at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Eastern Washington University Press of Cheney, Wash.

Jones said the press expect to publish the anthology by May 2008 with a launch event in Washington, D.C., by October 2008.  For more information on Wake Forest University Press, go to www.wfu.edu/wfupress.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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