Course Description

Course Name

Special Topic: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Poetry

Session: VDNS3121

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The post-war period in Scotland and Ireland has witnessed a remarkable poetic renaissance. Much of this work has tended not only to resist metropolitan literary and linguistic norms, but also - and perhaps more importantly - to challenge inherited notions of Irish and Scottish identity. New modes of urban writing, working-class writing and women's writing have altered the landscapes of Irish and Scottish literature.
The paper will examine a range of Irish and Scottish poets, adopting a comparative framework where appropriate, attending to questions of form, technique and language and focusing on such issues as: the role of poetry in the construction of national identity; the relationship between nationality and gender; language and tradition; regional identity and the urban/rural division; poetry and politics.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students should have a sound knowledge of the key technical and thematic features of contemporary Scottish and Irish poetry and be able to articulate their views cogently both in discussion and writing. They should be able to draw appropriate parallels and contrasts between the two literatures and examine issues of national identity, religion, politics, class, gender, urban-rural division and language as presented in the set texts.

Course Reader (available from the Print Shop) featuring work by Irish and Scottish poets, including: Patrick Kavanagh, Norman MacCaig, Seamus Heaney, Edwin Morgan, John Montague, John Hewitt, Tom Leonard, Paul Muldoon, Kathleen Jamie, Ciaran Carson, Carol Ann Duffy and Eilean ni Chuilleanain.

*Course content subject to change