On Tuesday, Sept. 13, acclaimed Irish author and poet Nell Regan visited Grinnell College for a poetry reading hosted by the Writers@Grinnell program. Regan, who is spending the fall semester in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, read many poems to eager spectators in ARH, ranging in subject from the rivers of Dublin to deceased loved ones.
Her style was unique, and her presentation and lyrics left an impact on many of the students in attendance. Danny Penny ’13 particularly enjoyed the reading by Regan.
“I think she is everything I could have imagined an Irish poet to be,” Penny said. “The Irish accent brings words to life that the flat American voice would just squish out.”
Regan is known for her captivating imagery and her beautifully expressed thoughts. Such memorable lyrics from Tuesday’s reading include “The sun ignites the water in the bitter February wind,” and “the hill is swallowing the fort,” among countless others.
Regan’s career in poetry began after her university studies. She now defines poetry as an integral part of a post-secondary education. At the University of Iowa she is seeing first-hand the importance of literature—especially that of international origin—in shaping the minds of young people.
“It is critical that students hear different voices and different readers,” Regan said. “If you are someone that wants to learn to write, seeing a writer makes it more tangible—giving students a sense of the process. It is so necessary to get that infusion with other cultures and other literatures.”
Writing is not only a career for Regan—it is an exciter, a motivator and an ever-necessary means of creative expression.
“I think when you get something right and are very pleased, you get a sense of satisfaction that is like nothing else,” Regan said. “It is quite exciting to write, because your work is never done. There is always potential to do it differently or better.”