Mairéad Byrne began her career in Dublin, writing for newspapers, magazines, radio and theater. Her first book, Joyce—A Clew, was a short experimental biography of James Joyce, with illustrations by Henry J. Sharpe. Since then she has published six collections of poetry, including The Best of (What’s Left of) Heaven (Publishing Genius, 2010/2019), Famosa na sua cabeça (Dobra Editorial, 2015) and You Have to Laugh: New & Selected Poems (Barrow Street, 2013), nine poetry chapbooks and three collaborative books with visual artists. Recent and forthcoming work includes essays in David Jhave Johnston’s ReRites: Raw Data/Response (Anteism 2019), A Line of Tiny Zeros in the Fabric: Essays on the Poetry of Maurice Scully, edited by Ken Keating (Shearsman, 2020) and a poem stamped into the sidewalk (City of Providence Art in City Life/Sidewalk Tattoo Project).
She earned a Higher Diploma in Education (First Class Hons) from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in American Poetry & Creative Writing (Poetry) and PhD in Theory & Cultural Studies, both from Purdue University. In 2022, she was awarded an MA in Gaelic Literature (First Class Hons) by the Department of Modern Irish, University College Cork. She has completed residencies in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Constance Saltonstall Foundation, Siena Art Institute, Seoul Art Space Yeonhui, Storyknife and the Cill Rialaig Project.
Since coming to RISD in 2002, she has designed and taught undergraduate courses in Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Digital Poetics, Material Poetics and Contemporary Poetry; Beginning and Advanced Poetry Writing Workshops; and the First-Year Literature Seminar. Recent graduate courses include Visual Poetry Studio (Illustration) and the Collegiate Teaching Practicum (Graduate Studies/Teaching + Learning in Art + Design).
In 2013, Mairéad served as chief critic for the European Honors Program in Rome. In 2016, she was honored with the John R. Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching. During her sabbatical year (2023–24), she plans to work on translating Brian Merriman’s Cúirt an Mheán Oíche (The Midnight Court), a new collection of prose poems and two plays.
Academic areas of interest
- Contemporary poetry
- Experimental poetics (visual, sonic, digital, material)
- Gaelic poetry and translation
- Third Culture language arts
- Pedagogy in art and design
- ILLUS-503G-01 Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Studio
- LAS-E411-01 Beginning Poetry Writing Workshop
- LAS-E411-02 Beginning Poetry Writing Workshop
- GRAD-010G-03 Collegiate Teaching Practicum
- LAS-8900-06 LAS Independent Study
- LAS-E421-01 Advanced Poetry Workshop