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February 2017 NUI Galway Public Reception to Celebrate the Work of Author Mike McCormack
NUI Galway’s Discipline of English and School of Humanities will host an evening to celebrate the work and teaching of writer Mike McCormack to mark his recent major successes on the national and international literary scene. The public reception will take place on Wednesday, 22 February in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle at NUI Galway at 7pm.
Last year, McCormack was awarded the prestigious Goldsmiths Prize at the University of London for his novel Solar Bones. The same novel subsequently won the Eason Book Club Irish Novel of the Year and overall Irish Book of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.
Speaking on the announcement of the Goldsmiths Prize to Solar Bones Blake Morrison, Chair of the judging panel, said: “Politics, family, art, marriage, health, civic duty and the environment are just a few of the themes it touches on, in a prose that’s lyrical yet firmly rooted. Its subject may be an ordinary working life, but it is itself an extraordinary work.”
NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, who will speak at the reception, said: “On behalf of the entire University community I’d like to congratulate Mike on his achievement and his recent success. He is in the vanguard of a new generation of Irish literary talent and we at NUI Galway are very proud of our association with Mike over many years - both as an alumnus and a member of our academic staff. Mike’s most recent success with Solar Bones has brought further international recognition for his writing and is a source of great pride to all of us who know and value his work.”
McCormack is the longstanding teacher of fiction on NUI Galway’s MA in Writing, and during the current academic year he has taken up the directorship of the university’s BA with Creative Writing programme, on which he has also been a teacher and mentor.
He will be joined on the evening by friends and colleagues from the University including Dr Elizabeth Tilley, Head of the Discipline of English, who said: “Mike’s colleagues in the Discipline of English are delighted to have the opportunity to congratulate him publicly on these wonderful awards. Our students and staff have long been aware of Mike’s creative talent; it is entirely in order for the larger University community to share with us now in celebrating his work.”
Professor Felix Ó Murchadha, Head of the School of Humanities, further emphasizes McCormack’s role as a creative-writing educator: “We are so fortunate to have a writer of Mike McCormack’s stature teaching and mentoring in the School of Humanities. Not alone is he an author of international renown as evidenced by his recent awards, but he generously shares his craft with students here at NUI Galway. Mike’s colleagues in Humanities are delighted to celebrate the fitting recognition he has recently received.”
Also taking part in the celebrations on the evening will be former students of McCormack’s at NUI Galway who themselves have been enjoying recent successes in the writing and publishing world. Readings from some of McCormack’s previous works will culminate in a reading by the author himself from Solar Bones.