One of Ireland’s most gifted contemporary poets, Peter Fallon, is in Boston this winter and will be reading from his collected works at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England in Canton, Massachusetts on Thursday, February 7th at 7:30 p.m.
Born in Germany and raised in County Meath, Fallon found his calling to the written word early in life. On February 6, 1970 at age eighteen in Loughcrew, Oldcastle, County Meath he published the first Gallery book. On the press web site at www.gallerypress.com Fallon shares, “there was no plan, no fixed aim (no money!) There was a hope, and it grew, bit by bit by bit.” Over forty years later, after having published more than four hundred titles of poems and plays by Irish writers and operating in what Fallon describes as “a small, 19th century stone house . . . in the ancient centre of North Meath”, this small press is heralded around the globe as the leading contemporary publisher of Irish writing.
In addition to being a publisher, Fallon is also a poetic voice of Ireland’s farmland and the complex structure of ecological characteristics, historical tradition, political shifts and natural beauty that is deep in the roots of this Irish way of life. His poetry drew the attention of members here at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England. One recent college graduate shared with her group of ICCNE Academy friends that she had heard Peter Fallon read from his collection called The Company of Horses (The Gallery Press, 2007) and walked away feeling that she had “just seen Ireland for the first time. He writes of the real earth and ways there; and, he’s really good at reading aloud.”
As the current Burns Library Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies for the 2012/2013 Academic Year at Boston College, Fallon has been busy teaching a graduate seminar called “Heaney and Friel: Writing Ireland, Writing the World” and an undergraduate writing workshop on poetry. Fallon says of the current literary scene in Ireland: “What I see and sense is a hive of activity and, often (and surprising to me), promotion.” When asked if there anything about his current visit to the States that influences his vision of the publishing world, he replies, “the changing conditions of publishing are a global concern. Much as we're working to adapt and to hold our own, there's little as pleasing as an interlude in an independent bookshop - and I've been grateful for such times in Boston and Cambridge where the book itself seems still to be valued.”
As he looks forward to his reading at the ICC, he “anticipate[s] a certain poignancy in the encounter with some people whose departure from Ireland mightn't have been an altogether happy experience, or a matter of choice. It's a soreness for me - as a parent and neighbor - to see so many people leave. But I look forward especially to points of connection I hope we'll make.”
For more information about the ICC Author Series presenting Peter Fallon at the Irish Cultural Centre of New England, 200 New Boston Drive, Canton, MA on Friday, January 25th at 7:30 p.m. please visit http://www.irishculture.org or call 781-821-8291.
Please park in the Main Lot and walk over the footbridge to the Centre. Admission is $10 at the door. Copies of Fallon’s poetry books will be available for sale.