Philip Brady directs Etruscan Press and the YSU Poetry Center. He was the first director of the NEOMFA Program (2004-2006), and founder of the YSU Poetry Center (1994). He has received a YSU Distinguished Professorship in University Service for his work as an Arts Administrator and The Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio 2015.
The Sea Is Wild Tonight: A Pilgrimage to Ancient MFA’s
(from By Heart: Reflections of a Rust Belt Bard)
On the westernmost ledge of Europe near Slea Head in the Kingdom of Kerry, huts of corbelled stone cluster by the Atlantic. Clocháns, they are called, quarried from native rock and hefted into place a thousand years ago, though a thousand years means little to these sea-sprayed fields. If not for the hand-printed sign advertising, “Dunbeg Stone Fort—Beehive Huts Ahead,” I might have trundled past, having my hands full keeping my rental from careening into gorgeous oblivion. I unfold my Yankee length from the sedan and rattle the chain until a pensioner in burdocked overalls shambles down the path to unlock the gate and collect the two Euro admission. As we climb gorse hillocks he keeps up a hum of badinage about Skellig Michael and the Book of the Dun Cow; Kevin and Colmcille and the Blind O’Driscolls, as if raillery could coax them back to life.