Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh sat down with us (first year English language and literature students) in our university café at Comenius University to read us her works of poetry first in English, then in Irish. Not only had some of my classmates never engaged with Irish poetry, but some also had the amazing opportunity to hear the Irish language for the very first time in their lives. Ms. Ní Ghearbhuigh’s dedication to writing modern poetry in Irish at a time when it may be considered “old-fashioned” or “out-of-date” to do so was inspiring, especially as the daughter of an Irish migrant who had lost touch with Irish due to my growing up in Slovakia. Her poetry was captivating, atmospheric, and insightful, and my colleagues came away with a new relationship to Irish literature in a country where we would have had fewer opportunities to come into contact with it naturally. We are all incredibly thankful to Ms. Ní Ghearbhuigh and EFACIS for organizing this pleasant and enriching event.
--Louise Nash, undergraduate student of English and Philosophy
The chance to meet and greet such a great contemporary poet was a truly unforgettable experience. Ailbhe’s presentation (and discussion over coffee) was enlightening, charming and funny, and it truly sparked a new interest in me – listening to poetry in languages I don’t understand! It gave me a whole new appreciation for the medium and a truly, completely new appreciation for the Irish language.
--Michal Chudy, graduate student of English and Italian