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Paul Maddern, a poet and contributor to the new CCEA GCSE Poetry Anthology, gave a lecture to Form 5 students on Thursday 10th January.

Paul explored concepts of ‘Identity,’ one of the key themes of CCEA’s new poetry collection. He also discussed his own poem, Effacé. Paul’s work features alongside a range of talented writers, including Sinead Morrissey and Simon Armitage. Academy students were delighted to meet a poet of such distinguished calibre.

Paul discussed the form, meaning and content of his poem, allowing students to gauge a better understanding of his sophisticated work.

Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and lived in Canada, the USA, and England before moving to Co Down in 2000. In 2009, he was a winner in the Templar Poetry pamphlet competition with Kelpdings. His subsequent collection, The Beachcomber’s Report (Templar: 2010), was shortlisted for the Eithne and Rupert Strong Award for Best First Collection and he is the recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s SIAP and ACES grants.

He established the Seamus Heaney Centre Digital Archive as part of his PhD with the School of English at Queen’s University Belfast, where is he has served as Creative Writing Tutor for the Seamus Heaney Centre.


for Nora

Yours was the face I almost lived a lie for,
that might have brought about the 2.4,
not this sterile A4 annual report
about the daughter’s aptitude for sport,
Ted’s reunion and the dress you wore.

I want to know: did the dress allow
seductive développés and port de bras,
did sling-backs reveal triumphant arches,
were accountants left unconscious
and the husband damning Terpsichore?

But should I be content if my Odette
is happy to distract suburban courts?
Nibble canapés my swan, forget
this mincing prince who hoped we might be more.

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