Hi!

My name is Éireann Lorsung (you say my first name just like “Erin”, but it really is spelled that way, and yes, I’ve had it since birth). I am a writer, teacher, and maker of things, currently living between Maine, US and Dublin, Ireland. You can find information about my written work here (publications and upcoming classes/other news appear in the sidebar). I collect my public projects, my visual arts work, and information about my teaching life elsewhere on this site.

 

My writing life

Here are some facts about my writing life: My first book, Music for Landing Planes By, was named a ‘new and noteworthy’ book by Poets & Writers. My second, Her book (a poem from it can be found at the Poetry Society of America), came out from Milkweed in 2013 and was beautifully reviewed in Zzyzzyva; a chapbook, Sweetbriar, came out the same year.  My third book, The Century, which LitHub named as one of their “most anticipated” 2020 titles, came out in October 2020 and has been reviewed in Ploughshares, the Portland (ME) Press-Herald, the Boston Globe, and Publishers Weekly, among other places. The Century also won the 2021 Maine Literary Award for Poetry. I was a 2016 NEA Fellow in creative writing (prose). My writing is represented by The Wylie Agency.

 

Current projects

I recently completed a novel, Industry, that deals with place, belonging, and ecology. In a fictional town in Western Maine, the lives and families of two people—one white and middle-aged, one a Somali-American teenager—intersect to tell a story about what it means to belong, and why, in the age of climate crisis, belonging matters more than ever. 

I’m currently working on a collection of poems I’m calling Pink Theory!, that takes Toni Cade Bambara’s assertion that “the role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible” seriously—as a prompt for self-criticism and as an aesthetic challenge. This collection departs from Hope Mirrlees’ PARIS, the modernisms of Louis Zukovsky, and Fanny Howe’s essay “Bewilderment” and believes that both walking and reading teach us how to live and write. The poems make a dérive through 20th-century French philosophy, academic labor, handiwork, and synesthesia, en route to a vision of poetry as imbued with philosophy, of philosophy as part of everyday life, and of everyday life as shared with all living-thinking beings. Pink Theory! is lighthearted, playful, and sincere about beauty as well as about the liberating possibilities of solidarity and of joy. It’s also full of intertext: snippets of music, fragments of poetry, quoted forms and borrowed patterning, a reminder that thought itself—right down to the alphabet—is shared, and of our roles in the shared making of the world. Poems in Pink Theory! have been published in Dear World and Everyone In It (Bloodaxe, 2013), Women’s Studies QuarterlyWaxwingjubilatTriQuarterly, and elsewhere.

I’m also working on poems that respond to the years I lived in rural Belgium, and, as I have been since 2011 or so, I’m still and slowly working on a novel entitled 1873 that pivots doubly around the 2011 Touhoku earthquake and tsunami, and the Meiji-period (1873) adoption of the Gregorian calendar in place of the historical Japanese calendar.

 

Samples of work

I made a few recordings of poems and put them here, along with PDF copies. Parts of 1873 are online; here is “A Matter of Public Record” and here is “List of survivors” and here is “Procedure for certification of death.” Most recently, The Yale Review spoils the end of the book (almost) by printing “How After the Quake You Returned to What Was Lost“.

 

My professional life, in brief

As of June 2022, I am an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin (Ireland). For the 2021-22 academic year, I was Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Simpson College (Iowa, US). Previously I taught in the Writing, Literature, and Publishing Program at Emerson College (MA, US), was Faculty of the Baccalaureate at Bard College (NY, US), where I taught Life Writing, taught a year-long observational practice workshop via Maine Media College + Workshops, and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing (Nonfiction) at the University of Maine – Farmington (US). I’ve also taught at universities in Belgium and the UK. If you’d like to get an idea of my approach to teaching, you can listen to me give a talk about why I value failure here. My teaching is more fully discussed here.

Before returning to the US in 2018, I was living in Belgium, where I ran a micropress and a tiny residency space for writers and artists. (N.b.: If you’re here to find out the status of those projects, the short answer is I don’t know. MIEL will be relocating eventually and then come out of hibernation. Dickinson House may irrupt in the future in a different form. I do love both projects, but they’re not compatible with teaching for me right now.) 

 

Biographical information

I was born and grew up in Minneapolis, MN (US), and did my BAs (English, Japanese) and MFA (Creative Writing–Poetry; minor in Studio Arts), at the University of Minnesota. I had really excellent teachers and peers over those seven years, some of whom are still my best readers. During my MFA I spent time at the Scuola Internazionale de Grafica in Venice, Italy, where a Judd Fellowship provided me with the time to work on prints and poems.

In 2006 I moved to Dole, France, where I taught English at Lycée Charles Nodier. In 2007 I moved to Nottingham, UK, where I did my PhD in Critical Theory, writing about love, affect, reading, and deconstruction. Eventually my doctoral work will be revised into a book about writing, reading, thinking, feeling, and crying. From 2012-2018 I lived in Belgium. 

 

Organize your own book tour

In 2013, I organized a ten-city tour in support of the publication of my second collection, Her book. Information about how I did that is here.

 

Mailing list

From March 2023 until March 2024, I posted an essay each week, which you can read in your browser or receive as an email. These will disappear by August 2024 when Abundant Number, a new project, begins. If you would like to hear about classes I’m teaching, events or readings I’m part of (or organizing), and new publications, please sign up for my mailing list

 

Thank you for visiting.