May 10, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Prof. Ian Rae, Associate Professor in the Department of English, French and Writing gave a presentation at “Text/Sound/Performance: Making in Canadian Space.” The conference was held from April 25-27 at University College Dublin, with some special events held at the National Library of Ireland.

Prof. Rae’s presentation was entitled “Yeats and the Making of Canadian Space in the Works of James Reaney.” It compared Ireland’s W.B. Yeats and Canada’s James Reaney as poets, playwrights, and critics who played crucial roles in their national literary movements by dramatizing and mythologizing well-defined regions of their respective countries and mixing modernist aesthetics with local history and folklore.

“For Reaney, that territory is essentially a triangle between Stratford, where he was born and where he set most of his early books; London, where he spent most of his adult life as a professor at Western University and as an engaged member of the local arts scene; and Lucan, where he set his famous trilogy about the Donnellys,” says Prof. Rae.

Prof. Rae says the conference was “a smashing success, as attested by the fact that both Canadian and Irish attendees carried their conversations through the day-long panels, into the evening performances, and onward to a few of Dublin’s famous bars.”

“The conference was a phenomenal convergence of poets and critics of the Canadian avant-garde and Irish poets and academics.   The literary links between Ireland and Canada have always been strong, particularly in the development of our national theatre movement,” says Prof. Rae.

The Irish Times reports that 125 of the top Canadian and Indigenous writers and literary critics attended the conference, partnered with over 75 Irish authors through the new Associated Writing Programmes Ireland.

Prof. Rae says the Irish attendees came out in large numbers to attend the sessions on Canadian literature. The Reading Room of the National Library, where performances and talks are not normally held, was opened so nominees of Canada’s Griffin Poetry Prize, which includes both a national and international winner each year, could present their recent work.

The event was organized by Prof. Gregory Betts, the Dobbin Chair in Canadian Studies at University College Dublin and Professor of English at Brock University.  Prof. Rae brought Prof. Betts to King’s to help launch the latter’s 2013 book, Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations.

This fall, Prof. Rae will teach a senior seminar called “Street to Stage: Festival Cultures in Theory and Practice,” an introductory Canadian Literature survey (English 2501) and a special topics course on Southern Ontario Gothic (English 3775).

To read the Irish Time’s coverage of the event, please visit:

For more information on the Text/Sound/Performance event, please visit the website at

For more informations on the exciting English courses available at King's, please visit