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A lesson in Can't by Celia de Fréine

Celia de Fréine is a poet and playwright who writes in Irish and English. Her poetry has won many awards including the Patrick Kavanagh Award(1994) and Gradam Litríochta Chló Iar-Chonnachta (2004). A lesson in Can't is her eighth collection.  

    Inspired by the time Celia spent working with Travellers A lesson in Can't tells the story of a teacher's engagement with her students, beginning with her arrival in the classroom and ending when she moves on. The poems tell a story we haven't heard before, about a sustained productive engagement between a literacy teacher and her students during which a genuine relationship develops over time, where real work is done, and with a purpose. It is a space where two worlds engage with each other, with varying degrees of success and sometimes hilarious bursts of mutual misunderstanding. Theory, explication, judgement are all absent.  

      - Lia Mills

Read Lia Mills' article on Celia de Fréine in the Dublin Review of Books

See also

A lesson in Can't

ISBN 9780-9560966-8-5, price €12.00

Available for Kindle (price €4.99) from |

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