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  • NYS Writers Institute

Poetry Friday: "Everything is Going to be All Right"

Irish poet Derek Mahon, a NYS Writers Institute guest in the spring of 1995, died Thursday night.

His poem, "Everything is Going to be All Right," written earlier this year, captured the mood of many -- hope in the face of the global pandemic.

"Everything is Going to be All Right," reprinted in the Friday edition of Irish Times.

Ireland President Michael D Higgins wrote a lengthy tribute upon hearing the news of Mahon's passing:

"News of the death of Derek Mahon will be received with great sadness by his colleagues in Aosdána [an Irish arts organization] but also, and more widely, by those who understand what the loss of a great poet, with a body of work such as his, entails... Not so long ago one of his poems ‘A disused Shed in County Wexford’ was in contention as Ireland’s favourite poem. Derek Mahon’s body of work revealed a poet that could draw on an easy familiarity with the classics, but which brought to them a wit and freshness that was both perceptive and provocative in equal measure...

What I recall as his greatest strength was his poetic instinct to continually dredge for what was human about us; what was contradictory as well as what was full of possibility."

His final line -- and his poem's title -- is also the final line in a poem by Janine Stuchin published in our recent edition of Trolley. A UAlbany graduate, Class of '82, she is executive director of The Prevention Council of Saratoga County and told us she enjoys writing poetry after midnight.


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