Dr Catherine Ann Cullen
IRC Enterprise Partnership Postdoctoral Fellow with Poetry Ireland
- School: School of English, Drama and Film
- Mentors: Dr Lucy Collins (Academic); Dr Jane O’Hanlon, Education Officer, Poetry Ireland (Enterprise Partnership)
After Zozimus: Reclaiming Lost Street Poets and Tenement Balladeers of !9th Century Dublin
Zozimus (Michael Moran, 1794-1846) is celebrated as the blind street poet of Dublin, but there were many ‘unsung’ balladeers of the city. My research partnership with Poetry Ireland reclaims the forgotten generation of poets and performers who continued in the tradition after Zozimus died. One such was Joseph Sadler, another blind poet, who flourished c1850 to 1870 as a news balladeer who focussed on politics and religion. Among his contemporaries in this project are James Kearney, described as a Traveller from Clare or a labourer from Limerick, and a number of women balladeers whose first names and nicknames are mentioned in reminiscences (including “Blind Peggy” and “Ranting Sal”) but whose real names and works remain obscure. I am also researching the printers who rushed out the works of these street poets on executions, court cases and political events.
As well as completing a monograph, I will provide selected texts and background at https://texerenetwork.com/dublinballadeers/ and present an event with Poetry Ireland in Winter 2024 of performances of these reclaimed works, and responses to them.