On Paul Durcan and the Visual Arts: Gender, Genre, Medium





Visual arts, Transgression, Gender, Medium


The poetry of Paul Durcan finds one of its major attractions in its acknowledgement and crossing of boundaries. Such borderlines are of various types: they are semiotic and intermedial, involving Paul Durcan’s deployment of verbal resources to co-opt or challenge representations in other systems of signification – especially visual media; they are cultural and political, concerning the poet’s processing of elements from both Irish and global cultures; and they are those proper to gendered identities, highlighting the positions of men and women as both subjects and objects of a variety of inscriptions. This essay approaches Durcan’s (literally) transgressive writing and the intellectual and disciplinary challenges it poses by questioning our ability to read poems and pictures, and accept the ostensible self-containment of political conformations and modes of identity.

Author Biography

Rui Carvalho Homem, University of Porto

Rui Carvalho Homem is Professor of English at the Department of Anglo-American Studies, Faculty of Arts, Universidade do Porto (University of Oporto), Portugal. He has published widely on Early Modern English drama, Irish studies, translation, and word-and-image studies. He is also a literary translator, and has published versions of Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra, Richard III and Love’s Labour’s Lost), Christopher Marlowe, Seamus Heaney and Philip Larkin.


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How to Cite

Homem, R. C. (2020). On Paul Durcan and the Visual Arts: Gender, Genre, Medium. ABEI Journal: The Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies, 22(2), 109-118. https://doi.org/10.37389/abei.v22i2.180776



Paul Durcan’s Poetry from the Irish and the International Perspectives