Barbara Burch has plenty to say about poetry’s relevance to peace in today’s world. And, you’re invited to hear her artful ways of putting it at the annual Cawthorne Lecture at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Feb. 27) in John L. Hill Chapel.
Dr.Burch, a professor of English and coach of Georgetown College’s standout Academic Team, has the honor of delivering the lecture as a result of her being recognized with The 2006 Cawthorne Excellence in Teaching Award at commencement last May. The award was established by the late couple, Don B. and Chris Kerr Cawthorne, in 1988 as a way to acknowledge a faculty member who has demonstrated a dedication to students and a gift for excellent teaching.
During her presentation, “Whatever You Say, Say Nothing: The Art of Poetry and the Problem of Terrorism in Northern Ireland,” Burch will talk about three well-known poets who “came of age and wrote poetry during the political turmoil that gripped Northern Ireland during the second half of the twentieth century.
Throughout her study of Seamus Heaney, Ciaran Carson and Michael Longley, Burch said she has analyzed how the poets wrote about the “horrors of civil strife and terrorism without asserting their personal political beliefs.”
“My belief is that these poets, along with many others, created art that has played a subtle but important part of the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland. I hope to convey the message that poetry matters outside of the classroom and that it is relevant to contemporary threats to world stability and peace,” Burch said.
Both of Burch’s academic teams are defending Kentucky College Quick Recall League champions. The varsity team has won all three KCQRL tournaments this season and the junior varsity has won two of three KCQRL tournaments.
Most recently, the varsity squad won first place in Division II of Sword Bowl with an 11-0 record. The Sword Bowl is a tournament held at the University of Tennessee—Chattanooga in which teams from around the southeast compete, Burch said, naming Florida State University and the University of Louisville as just two of the teams Georgetown beat.
“The Academic Team is doing great. I can’t remember the last time I’ve enjoyed coaching the team so much,” Burch said. This year’s “rookies” include two members of the quick recall team that won the Governor’s Cup competition last year, Tyler Frailie of Ashland and Rebecca Sicking of Russell. We also have three additional promising freshmen, Jacob Price of Somerset, Heather Scott of Fort Thomas and Amy Hall of Louisa.