Sally Connolly - Ranches of Isolation

Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005

Sally Connolly is that rare thing, a critic of contemporary poetry who is at once sharp, funny, and judicious. Whether weighing up the merits—or demerits—of winners of the T. S. Eliot Prize, or pondering the nature of Irish-Englishness, or parsing the work of recent Poets Laureate, Connolly proves herself an expert and entertaining guide to what is happening in poetry on both sides of the Atlantic. —Mark Ford

I’m a big fan of Sally Connolly’s Grief & Meter: Elegies for Poets After Auden. In her new book, she takes her title from perhaps Auden’s best-known poem and, twinning him early on with Eliot, tries to keep the old transatlantic route open in both directions. As a kind of mid-Atlantic type myself, I like this. I don’t think Connolly lives on an isolated ranch, but she does live in Houston. Her autobiographical chapter about being Irish-English (not Anglo-Irish) is both delightful and necessary for understanding the smart perspective she brings to the poetry she discusses here. —John Matthias

Sally Connolly opens up the realities of space and place that certain writers today inhabit in ink, but which need the direction of such a brilliant critic to help us enter, wander and wonder within. —Greg Delanty

Sally Connolly is the Graduate Director of the English Department at the University of Houston. She is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Poetry and is an authority on American, British and Irish verse from the Modern period to the present day. She previously taught at Wake Forest University and was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Connolly’s main area of research is the elegiac tradition, and particularly elegies for poets.

Her first book Grief and Meter: Elegies for Poets After Auden was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2016. Her second book Ranches of Isolation: Transatlantic Poetics will be published in 2018 followed by a critical biography of the Anglo-American poet Thom Gunn. Her reviews and articles appear in publications such as Poetry, The Times Literary Supplement, and Yeats Annual. She has been the recipient of several prestigious honors and awards including the Kennedy Scholarship at Harvard University.