Ethna McKiernan is the first winner of the new Irish Network Minnesota’s first Bloomsday Literary Arts Award. Ethna received the award on Bloomsday (June 16) during at a virtual event celebrating Bloomsday. (You can see the announcement and her Ethna’s reading below.)
More about Ethna
Worldwide Ethna is knowns for her poetry. Ethna has twice been awarded the Minnesota State Art Board grant and was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award for her first book, Caravan. Her work has been anthologized in the Notre Dame Book of Irish American Poetry, 33 Minnesota Poets and many more. Her other books include Sky Thick with Fireflies (2011) and Swimming with Shadows (2019). She has a new book of poetry out this month, Light Slowly Rolling Backward: New and Selected Poems. Ethna also owned and managed Irish Books & Media, the premier, worldwide resource for Irish books, manuscripts and other media from 1977-2007. She is the daughter of Eoin McKiernan, internationally recognized Irish Studies scholar and founder of the Irish American Cultural Institute. He is credited with reviving and preserving Irish culture and language in the U.S.
Outside of the literary world, Ethna has worked at an outreach case manager, helping people experiencing homelessness to find a better way. Her focus is helping chronically homeless single adults to secure and maintain stable housing.
More about the Bloomsday Literary Arts Award
The Bloomsday award gets its name from the day it is awarded, June 16, which celebrates James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, which follows Leopold Bloom around Dublin on June 16, 1904. There are 18 chapters that parallel the episodes of Homer’s epic Odysseus. Each chapter takes on a unique literary format. That leads the award to celebrate a wide range of artists in the future. The event this year was hosted by Irish Network-Minnesota for the fourth year, St. Paul joins cities around the world from Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, Italy and throughout the U.S. in getting the Bloomsday party started.