‘A nation of Others’
The immigrant in contemporary Irish poetry
in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
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This chapter delves into the numerous, complex ways of representing multiculturalism in Ireland from the perspective of Irish poets. It starts by briefly assessing the work of an immigrant poet from Poland, Kinga Olszewska, in order to consider it alongside recent poems by Colette Bryce, Mary O'Donnell, and Michael O'Loughlin. These writers are interested in deriding and/or debunking the ideal ‘liberal’ model of Irish multiculturalism, which often permeates literary and cultural texts in their uncritical celebration of a truly integrated and unconditionally hospitable Ireland. Bryce, for instance, discloses the patronising and xenophobic attitudes behind official discourses in Ireland, in a poem which suggestively recalls the 2004 Citizenship Referendum. Bryce's blatant critique of an ideal multicultural Ireland is also recorded by O'Donnell and O'Loughlin, who, in different ways, explore multiethnicity from the viewpoint of the centre and that of the periphery.

Literary visions of multicultural Ireland

The immigrant in contemporary Irish literature


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