Ethna McKiernan Book Launch, November 13
2:30pm Inis Meáin
Ethna McKiernan is a Minnesota author with strong Irish connections. She grew up in a literary household, began reading at four years old and published her first poem while still in her teens. Ethna owned and managed Irish Books and Media for 30 years while raising three children as a single mother. She was also writing poetry when she could scratch out some time for it.
When circumstances dictated the closure of the business in 2007, Ethna turned to work that she had been doing as a volunteer through St. Stephen's Human Services ; working with the homeless. For three years she served as an outreach worker, connecting with people under bridges and on the streets in order to get their basic needs met, connect them to services and for some rare lucky few, the ‘gold ring’, long-term housing off the streets. She continues her work now, in the role of housing case manager for the Ending Long Term Homelessness Program. Ethna's poetry is informed by a life rich in experience, love of family, loss and new beginnings, and shaped by her ongoing relationship to Ireland and to this community.
Her first book of poetry, Caravan, was co-published by Dedalus Press, Ireland and by Midwest Villages & Voices in 1989. That same year she was awarded a MN State Arts Board Fellowship in literature. Her second book, The One Who Swears You Can’t Start Over (2002), was also published simultaneously in the US and in Ireland. Her work has appeared in The New Hibernia Review, Poetry Ireland, The Notre Dame Book of Irish American Poetry, and 33 Minnesota Poets.
Ethna’s third book of poetry, Sky Thick with Fireflies, will be launched November 13th at the Celtic Junction and we welcome you to join us there.
For information on getting a copy now, contact www.dufoureditions.com . In 2012 the book will be on amazon.com and in local bookstores. If you would like to contribute to the work of helping Minnesota’s homeless, go to www.ststephensmpls.org .