Beall Poetry Festival Brings Acclaimed Irish Poets to Campus

  • Catriona O'Reilly
    Irish poet Catriona O'Reilly will visit campus for the 2017 Beall Poetry Festival March 15-17. (Courtesy photo)
  • Margaret Mills Harper
    Margaret Mills Harper will deliver the Virginia Beall Lecture in Contemporary Poetry as part of the Beall Poetry Festival. (Courtesy photo)
  • Adrian Rice
    Adrian Rice will give a poetry reading Thursday, March 16. (Courtesy photo)
  • Micheal O'Siadhail
    Micheal O'Siadhail will read his poetry Friday, March 17, on the last day of the poetry festival. (Courtesy photo)
March 13, 2017

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (March 13, 2017) – Baylor University will host the 23rd annual Beall Poetry Festival March 15-17, bringing three Irish poets and one poetry critic to campus.

“The Beall Poetry Festival introduces Waco and the local community to the work of outstanding poets from around the world through a series of poetry readings and a lecture,” said Richard Russell, Ph.D., English professor in the College of Arts & Sciences and director of the Beall Poetry Festival.

All afternoon events will take place in Room 101 of Carroll Science Building, 1401 S. Fifth St. Evening events will take place in Kayser Auditorium in the Hankamer Academic Center, 1428 S. Fifth St.

“The festival will expose attendees to the dynamic Irish poets and an American critic who live and breathe poetry and see it as vital to not only their lives but to all of our lives because it makes us more fully human and attuned to different landscapes, viewpoints and rhetoric,” Russell said.

This year’s poetry festival theme is “Celebrating Irish Poetry.”

“We selected this year’s poets based on their excellence in poetry as well as their wonderful readings of their poetry in person and online,” Russell said. “In keeping with our theme this year, they are all either from Ireland or Northern Ireland or currently teach there.”


Student Literary Contest – The winners of the Student Literary Contest will be announced. Five poetry prizes and three fiction prizes will be awarded.

Catriona O’Reilly Poetry Reading – Irish poet Catriona O’Reilly, Ph.D., explores nature and self in her poetry. Her debut collection, The Nowhere Birds, won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2002. In 2015, The Guardian selected her latest collection, Geis, as one of its Best Books of 2015.

THURSDAY, March 16

The Virginia Beall Lecture in Contemporary Poetry – Margaret Mills Harper, Ph.D., Glucksman Professor of Contemporary Writing at the University of Limerick, will lecture about Irish poet Vona Groarke.

Harper is the president of the International Yeats Society and previously was director of the Yeats International Summer School. She is both a critic of contemporary poetry and one of the premier scholars of William Butler Yeats. Harper is also the author of Wisdom of Two: The Spiritual and Literary Collaboration of George and W. B. Yeats and The Aristocracy of Art in Joyce and Wolfe.

Adrian Rice Poetry Reading – Irish poet Adrian Rice, doctoral student and research assistant at Appalachian State University, will read his poetry. Rice is the author of various poetry collections, including Hickory Station, The Clock Flower, Hickory Haiku and The Mason’s Tongue. Rice also has edited five anthologies of children’s poetry, art and drama.

Rice received the Sir James Kilfedder Memorial Bursary for Emerging Artists in 1997 and was poet-in-residence at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, in 1999.

FRIDAY, March 17

Poetry Panel – Chloe Honum, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and poetry in the College of Arts & Sciences, will moderate a panel featuring the visiting poets. Audience members will be invited to ask the poets any questions they may have.

Micheal O’Siadhail – Irish poet Micheal O’Siadhail (pronounced mee-hall oh sheel) is a full-time writer who has published numerous collections of poetry, including One Crimson Thread, Collected Poetry and The Gossamer Wall. He was awarded an Irish American Cultural Institute prize for poetry in 1982 and the Marten Toonder Prize for Literature in 1998.

O’Siadhail was writer-in-residence at the Yeats International Summer School in 1991 and has been a lecturer at Trinity College Dublin and a professor at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. O’Siadhail is also the author of a book of essays, Say But the Word: Poetry as Vision and Voice, as well as academic works including Learning Irish and Modern Irish.

The Beall Poetry Festival is supported by John A. and DeLouise McClelland Beall Endowed Fund, established in 1994 by Virginia B. Ball to honor her parents and to encourage the writing and appreciation of poetry.

The event is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.

by Kalli Damschen, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit

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