The Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry: Seamus Heaney Prize winner Katharine Towers – Oct. 18 at Glucksman Ireland House NYU


This year’s Quinlan lecture will be delivered by Katharine Towers, whose book The Floating Man conducts musical themes against details of the everyday in a rich and varied collection.

On Thursday, October 18 at 5:30 p.m., Glucksman Ireland House at New York University will present the Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry, in partnership with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queens University, Belfast.

This year’s Quinlan lecture will be delivered by Katharine Towers, whose book The Floating Man conducts musical themes against details of the everyday in a rich and varied collection. Ms. Towers was winner of the Seamus Heaney Prize, given annually by the Seamus Heaney Center for Poetry to the author of the best first-book of poems published in Ireland or Britain. The award recipient was determined by a committee of faculty from the Heaney Centre, including the director, Ciaran Carson, who will be present to open the Quinlan Lecture.

The annual Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry at Glucksman Ireland House honors Quinlan, a public school teacher in Philadelphia, a lover of poetry, and Glucksman Ireland House member since 1997; the lecture is endowed by his family. The lecture Thursday evening, October 18, will be held at Glucksman Ireland House, located at 1 Washington Mews, New York, N.Y. (between Washington Square North and 8th St.) For further information, please call (212) 998-3950 or email ireland.house@nyu.edu. RSVP is suggested to ireland.house@nyu.edu.

Introductory remarks will be offered by Professor John Waters, clinical professor of Irish Studies NYU, and director of Graduate Studies.

This event is free and open to the public.

About Tom Quinlan:
The Quinlan lectureship is named for Philadelphia educator Tom Quinlan, a life-long lover of poetry, who recently began his 64th year of teaching. Quinlan, 87, was educated in Philadelphia Catholic schools and is a 1949 graduate of La Salle University. He taught for 43 years in the Philadelphia public school system, mostly at Abraham Lincoln High School. For the past 20 years, he has taught poetry to senior citizens in an adult education program at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In his late seventies, he made two month-long trips to central China as a volunteer teacher. He has attended the Yeats Summer School in Sligo, Rep. of Ireland, a total of ten times, and had the pleasure of studying there with poets Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley, as well as Helen Vendler and many other Yeats scholars. Quinlan is a third generation Irish-American. His paternal grandfather, Bartholomew Quinlan, was born in Co. Cork in 1864; his paternal grandmother, Cecilia Cox, was born on a farm outside of Enniskillen in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland in 1862. In recent years, Quinlan was able to locate cousins and the farm, visiting both on several occasions with his son and grandson on his nearly annual visits to Sligo. Quinlan and his wife of 64 years, Virginia Clark Quinlan, have three children, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. They reside in Levittown, Pennsylvania. The lectureship was endowed as a gift from his family.

About Glucksman Ireland House:
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, Glucksman Ireland House is New York University's Center for Irish and Irish-American Studies and one of the top-ranked academic Irish Studies programs in the United States. Through innovative undergraduate and graduate academic curricula and extensive public programming, it provides access to the best in Irish and Irish-American culture. With faculty in Irish and Irish-American literature, history, music, language, and cultural studies, Glucksman Ireland House NYU provides its students and the community with an integrated approach to understanding the arts and humanities that represent Ireland and Irish-America's past, present, and future.

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337