Five Questions: Carol Baraniuk on James Orr

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James Orr, Poet and Irish Radical






Carol Baraniuk is currently a full-time Research Associate on the Ulster-Scots Education Project at the University of Ulster, where she has also lectured on the Ulster-Scots literary tradition. She completed her doctorate on Ulster poetry in the Scottish tradition at the University of Glasgow, where she is an honorary Research Associate of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies. Her new book, James Orr, Poet and Irish Radical, which we discuss below, was published earlier this month by Pickering & Chatto and draws on her thesis and on her extensive previous research on Ulster-Scots literature.

1) How did you first encounter James Orr, and how did you come to realise that you wanted to write a book about him?

I first read the poetry of James Orr (1770-1816) when I was appointed to a research position at Stranmillis University College, Belfast. I was working on a project investigating Irish and Scottish connections in literature, language and history. Orr was one of a group of poets who lived in Ulster, were descended from Scots migrants and whose language was Scots. …read more