Please join us at 3pm in the Drost Room of the library for an open mic devoted to the poetry of the First World War.  Students and faculty will read works from soldier-poets, as well as original poetry inspired by these writers.

Courtesy of Getty Images
Courtesy of Getty Images

And then on Monday, April 7, at 4pm, come back to the Drost Room for a lecture entitled “Soldiers of the Shamrock:  Irish Poetry and the Great War.”  Chris Murphy, a member of the English Department, will speak on Francis Ledwidge, Thomas Kettle, George Russell (AE), and W.B. Yeats.  He says:

Though Ireland sent roughly 150,000 volunteers to serve in the British Army during the Great War (and lost ~49,400 soldiers), in Inventing Ireland, Declan Kiberd writes that their service has been largely “extripated from the record” and that [the Republic of] Ireland seems to suffer from a “weird amnesia” (239) in regards to its role in World War I. Jim Haughey, author of The First World War In Irish Poetry, shares Kiberd’s sentiment and further comments that “Sadly, ritual memory of the Great War in both nationalist and unionist communities [in Ireland] has become almost irreparably politicized” (26) highlighting tensions that predate the outbreak of World War I.

By examining an in-no-way-comprehensive selection of poems written by Irish poets during the Great War, this talk will focus on the responses Irish poets had to the Great War and the changing political climate in Ireland, a climate that would create new trenches within Ireland in the aftermath of 1916 Easter Rising and the Great War.

You can also keep track of our events, and learn more about soldier-poets of the Great War, with our app!  Designed by Widener computer science major Joe Notarfrancesco, WWI @ Widener is now available in the Google Play store (Android only).

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