This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book. The book focuses on the drama, poetry and autobiography fiction published since 1990, but also reflects upon related forms of creative work in this period, including film and the visual and performing arts. The period from 1990 to 2007, has witnessed significant developments within Irish culture and society, which have shaped and transformed the writing and reading of identity, sexuality, history and gender. Not least among the factors which fostered a new, positive mood on the island was the considerable progress made during the 1990s in resolving the crisis in Northern Ireland. Multinational corporations and investors from Europe and the USA found the Republic highly attractive because of its exceptionally low corporation tax, its stability in industrial relations, and its highly skilled, well-educated, English-speaking workforce.
New generation Northern Irish poets (Sinéad Morrissey and Nick Laird)
A new generation of talented poets is beginning to re-shape the face of Irish and Northern Irish literature can be found in Selima Guinness's The New Irish Poets and John Brown's Magnetic North: The Emerging Poets. This chapter focuses on the debut collections of two writers, Sinead Morrissey and Nick Laird, whose work exemplifies many of the attributes identified by Guinness and Brown. With three volumes to her credit, Morrissey has perhaps the most substantial profile to date among the new generation of poets. In contrast to Morrissey, whose book contains only one passing reference to her father, Laird's To a Fault begins with a series of glimpses of his father, a figure who comes across as simultaneously present and remote. The chapter suggests that many traits identified by Brown and Guinness are equally demonstrable in the writing of their literary forebears, the Heaney-Mahon-Longley and Muldoon- McGuckian-Carson generations.
This book focuses on the drama and poetry published since 1990. It also reflects upon related forms of creative work in this period, including film and the visual and performing arts. The book discusses some of the most topical issues which have emerged in Irish theatre since 1990. It traces the significance of the home in the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke. The book also focuses on the reconfigurations of identity, and the complex intersections of nationality, gender and race in contemporary Ireland. It shows how Roddy Doyle's return to the repressed gives articulation to those left behind by globalisation. The book then examines the ways in which post-Agreement Northern fiction negotiates its bitter legacies. It also examines how the activity of creating art in a time of violence brings about an anxiety regarding the artist's role, and how it calls into question the ability to re-present atrocity. The book further explores the consideration of politics and ethics in Irish drama since 1990. It talks about the swirling abundance of themes and trends in contemporary Irish fiction and autobiography. The book shows that writing in the Irish Republic and in the North has begun to accommodate an increasing diversity of voices which address themselves not only to issues preoccupying their local audiences, but also to wider geopolitical concerns.