Las Cruces – New Mexico State University English professor Connie Voisine will be taking her talents to students in Northern Ireland next spring. Voisine received a Fulbright award to teach poetry and conduct research on Anglo-Irish poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University in Belfast for the spring 2012 semester.
"This Fulbright was especially appealing to me," Voisine said. "It's a new Fulbright and specifically for poets. I'm curious to see how creative writing is taught in other countries and how people see themselves and express that in their writing."
Voisine, who has traveled through Ireland and visited Belfast before, says she is looking forward to working in a country rich in poetry.
"I'm very excited about being a part of another writing community," Voisine said. "Ireland is a country that really loves its poetry. All sorts of people read and respect poetry there. For a poet, it's the promised land."
Voisine will teach two courses during the semester while researching the history of and contemporary Anglo-Irish poetry.
"There is a lot of conflict historically in Belfast between people who supported British rule and those who didn't. It's a border city of sorts and living on the border ourselves, it will be interesting to see how another artistic community deals with borders," Voisine said.
Voisine teaches poetry and creative writing at NMSU. She team-teaches the English department's online publishing course in which undergraduate students create, design and edit Din Magazine. Din is an online literary magazine that features visual art, short videos, photographs, poetry, short stories and music. She also oversees the English department's La Sociedad para las Artes, the main outreach organization for the department.
Named for the Irish poet who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995, The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen's University is considered a focal point in Ireland for writing, criticism and appreciation of modern literature. It is a recognized international center of research excellence in the field, and is distinguished by its critical activity and its promotion of creative writing as a living art.