Lessons from the School of Night
Even though we read no poetry, as a culture, we do know that it may have some power in the world, and we turn to it in times of crisis.
— Paul Muldoon
Stephen Sacco met with Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, in St Andrews, where he was reading his work at the Byre Theatre and running a one-off workshop for the MLitt and MFA poetry students at the School of English. In this interview, they discuss everything from the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland to Rudy Giuliani to what people ask and expect from poetry in today’s society.
Music: Luvva by Heman Sheman.
Paul Muldoon is the author of over thirty collections of poetry and the recipient of numerous awards, including the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Griffin Poetry Prize. Born in County Armagh in Northern Ireland, Muldoon has been teaching in the U.S. for the past thirty years, most recently at Princeton University. He is also an honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews.
Sean Robinson is a poet from London, living in Leith, and studying for an MFA under Don Paterson at the University of St. Andrews. His work has appeared in The Scores and The Moth.
Stephen Sacco is a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews, where he is researching representations of dwarfs in modern and contemporary literature and writing a novel, called Little Aldo, about a right-wing dwarf who gets in a lot of trouble when he tries to find love. He was previously a journalist in New York and the American South, and a playwright. His play, ‘Dance of the Fat Kid,’ received the B. Rod Marriot Award for Playwriting.
Lessons from the School of Night are an irregular series of video or audio interviews and tips from poets and writers who visit St Andrews. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
The School of Night – inspired by the group which included Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh – is Topping & Company Booksellers’ Year-Round Poetry Festival in St Andrews. Curated with the help of Don Paterson and playing host to poets as varied as Paul Muldoon and Lorraine Mariner, Simon Armitage and Annie Freud, it is anchored to a regular fixture on the last Tuesday of the month. The School of Night offers the chance to explore and discuss the work of some of the best poets on the contemporary scene. For more details on these and other events, please visit the Topping & Company website.