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The Honest Ulsterman Revisited: a lecture by Professor Frank Ormsby

53m Poetry 2021

The annual lecture by the Ireland Chair of Poetry is one of the key events in the literary calendar. It took place this year, in front of a small, socially distanced audience, in the Great Hall at Queen’s University Belfast.

The prestigious post is currently taken up by Queen’s University Belfast graduate, Professor Frank Ormsby. Professor Ormsby has had a long career as a poet, editor and educator. His lecture is a reflection on The Honest Ulsterman, an important publication, of which he was editor from 1969-89.

He is introduced in the filmed lecture by Professor Glenn Patterson, director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s, and by Professor Fran Brearton, professor of poetry at Queen’s and trustee of the Ireland Chair of Poetry. We also hear from the Rt Hon Sir Donnell Deeny, founding trustee of the Ireland Chair of Poetry.

Frank Ormsby was born in 1947 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. He was educated at St. Michael’s College and Queen’s University Belfast. His poetry collections include Ripe for Company (1971), A Store of Candles (1977), A Northern Spring (1986), The Ghost Train (1995), Fireflies (2009), Goat’s Milk: New and Selected Poems (2015), The Darkness of Snow (2017). He was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 – 1989, editor of Poetry Ireland Review, and Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution from 1976 – 2010. He is a recipient of the Cultural Traditions Award, the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award, and was appointed the Ireland Chair of Poetry in 2019.

This screening has optional subtitles (captions). Select the CC button in the menu bar to activate.

The Seamus Heaney Centre


Karma Dinosaur



Closed Captions [CC]



United Kingdom