Summer 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 3/4 Nonfiction |

Under the North Window: An Interview with Medbh McGuckian

Medbh McGuckian was born in Belfast in 1950, where she now lives for most of the year with her husband and their four teenagers. Her poems have won the English Poetry Society Competition (1979), an Eric Gregory Award (1980), and the Bass Ireland Award for Literature (1991). She earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from Queen's University in Belfast where she was later the first woman to be named Writer-In-Residence. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Her collections include The Flower Master and Other Poems (1982, 1993); Venus and the Rain (1984, 1994); On Ballycastle Beach (1988); Marconi's Cottage (1991, shortlisted for the Irish Times / Aer Lingus Irish Literature Prize for Poetry); Captain Lavender (1995); Selected Poems (1997); and Shelmalier (1998). I met with the poet in July of 1998 in the coastal town of Ballycastle (Baile an Chaisil) on the northern shore of Ireland, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea meet. The

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