Frank Ormsby was announced as the next Ireland Professor of Poetry, by President Michael D Higgins at a reception in Queens University Belfast.
Ormsby will be the eighth Irish Professor of Poetry, taking over from its current holder, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, at the end of October until November 2022.
Ormsby said of his appointment: “the professorship of Irish poetry is unique. It has done more than any other initiative to raise the profile of poetry in Ireland in the last 20 years, both as a recognition for established poets and a golden opportunity for younger emerging poets. The collaboration of three universities and both arts councils is a bold venture and I am honoured and thrilled to be part of it.”
Ormsby was born in 1947 in Enniskillen and educated at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was a central figure in the burgeoning of Ulster poetry since the 1960s , as editor of the Honest Ulsterman magazine for 20 years and editor of influential anthologies, such as Poets from the North of Ireland and A Rage for Order: Poetry of the Northern Ireland Troubles. To date he has published seven collections of poems, most recently The Darkness of Snow. His eighth collection, The Rain Barrel, will be published in October. He was also head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution until 2010.
Prof Kevin Rafter, chair of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Trust, said, “I want to wish Frank Ormsby good wishes in his work as the new Ireland Professor of Poetry. The announcement of his appointment by President Higgins at Queen’s University is fitting given the all-Ireland nature of the Poetry Trust.”