International poets come to Laurel Villa

LAUREL Villa Townhouse, in association with Poetry Ireland and Australian Poetry, will bring an international line-up of poets to Magherafelt on Saturday (May 26).

Three celebrated poets, Paul Hetherington and Petra White from Australia and Jeff Thomson from America, will be the latest to feature in Laurel Villa’s popular series of Poetry Evenings. Previous Laurel Villa events – described as a unique blend of poetry, food and craic – have featured Seamus Heaney, Gerald Dawe and a host of other established and up and coming poets.

Jeffrey Thomson resides in Maine USA. He is the author of four full-length collections of poetry, two limited-edition art books, and the co-editor of an anthology of emerging poets. He is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine, Farmington.

In 2011 he was appointed the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University. Since his six month term commenced in January, Jeff has been working on a new collection of poems relating to his Ulster ancestor William Thomson’s emigration to America. He is also in the process of recording emerging Irish poets for his popular website and online archive, From the Fishouse.

Petra White and Paul Hetherington are two established Australian poets who have been selected to represent Australia and the peak body, Australian Poetry on a 2012 tour of Ireland. They will be participating in a range of literary/poetry events and festivals around the country and their May 26 appearance at Laurel Villa is their only engagement in N. Ireland.

This initiative is presented by Australian Poetry and due to the generous support of the Australia Council with the aim of increasing cultural exchange between our two strong literary countries.

Petra White was born in Adelaide and lives in Melbourne, where she works, for the moment, as a public servant. Her first published collection of poetry, The Incoming Tide (John Leonard Press2007), was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the ACT Poetry Prize. Petra is a well-respected poet nationally and co-edits So Long Bulletin, a blog on Australian poetry and criticism.

Paul Hetherington currently lectures at the University of Canberra. He has published eight collections of poetry. His poems have been published in anthologies, literary journals and magazines in a variety of countries, including the USA, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Japan. Paul is a former director of publishing at the National Library of Australia, was one of the founders and is former Chair of the ACT Writers Centre and currently publishes the online poetry journal, Axon.

Date: Saturday 26 May 2012 at 8pm sharp. Tickets: £10 (includes buffet supper).Contact: or T 028 79301459.