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August 12, 2008
UD English Professor to be Featured Poet at Milwaukee's Irish Fest


University of Dubuque English professor, Tyler Farrell will take his place as "featured poet" at Milwaukee's 2008 Irish Fest.  The festival will be held August 14 - 18, at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park.

During the course of the festival, Farrell will do a poetry reading - mostly from his new book Tethered to the Earth, published by Salmon Poetry (available through www.salmonpoetry.com or www.amazon.com).  He will also lecture on Irish autobiography, as he is currently working on a book about Irish memoir, non-fiction, autobiography. Additionally, he will be the judge for the Irish Fest poetry competition where participants submit poems with Irish or Irish American themes.

"Irish Fest has long been associated with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where I received my PhD in English in 2002," said Farrell. "I have often done informal readings with other Milwaukee poets (including my mentor, Irish poet James Liddy) but this year I was asked to be the featured poet to promote all things literary Irish. It is an honor and a privilege to be involved with Irish Fest since many of the poems in my book deal with being an American in Ireland, experiencing the wonder, the spirituality, and the symbolic nature of such an enlightening country."

Farrell explains, "I have always been fascinated with the use of "place" in poetry and this reading will allow me to talk about how places like Ireland have had an impact on me and how they tend to shape the voice in my work. My aim in my work and my teaching life is to promote more reading and study about cultural aspects of life, about anything that interests the learner. I look at Ireland and its authors as some of the most fascinating in the world and I hope to teach people about the lives and backgrounds of Irish writers and their unique worlds. Ireland has a great impact on my life and my writing - I hope to live up to the expectations place upon my by this post as "Featured Poet" at Irish Fest."

Founded in 1980, Milwaukee's Irish Fest is the world's largest celebration of Irish music and culture, showcasing more than 100 entertainment acts annually at the four-day, 16-stage event at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Lake Michigan. Passionately committed to igniting a love of Irish culture in all people, Irish Fest teaches Ireland's music, dance, drama, sports, culture, children's activities, and genealogy at the festival and through yearlong programming.