Book launch on 11 December 2013: ‘A Mystic Dream of 4’ by Dr Iggy McGovern

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 09.07.43The Library is pleased to host the Armagh book launch of ‘A Mystic Dream of 4’ by Dr Iggy McGovern. Jointly organised with the Armagh Observatory, the launch will be held in the Library on Wednesday 11 December 2013 at 7.30pm.

Iggy McGovern is a former academic and a poet. He is a Fellow Emeritus in the School of Physics at Trinity College Dublin and has published two collections of poetry with Dedalus The King of Suburbia’ in 2005 and ‘Safe House’ in 2010. He edited the anthology ‘2012: Twenty Irish Poets Respond to Science in Twelve Lines’, published by Dedalus Press in association with Quaternia Press, and co-edited with Jean-Patrick Connerade, ‘Science Meets Poetry 3’, published by Euroscience.

His most recent book, ‘A Mystic Dream of 4’, is a sonnet sequence, based on the life of the nineteenth century Irish mathematician and poet, William Rowan Hamilton (1805–1865), and published by Quaternia Press

Hamilton was the foremost mathematician of the mid-nineteenth century. Appointed to the Andrews Chair of Astronomy of Dublin University in the final year of his undergraduate degree, his achievements included the prediction of Conical Refraction and the discovery of Quaternions. Today, his name is perpetuated in the ‘Hamiltonian’ of the Schrödinger Equation.

He was also a poet whose life spanned the aftermath of the United Irishmen revolt of 1798, the O’Connell campaigns of Reform and Repeal, the Oxford Movement and the Great Famine. The sequence consists of sixty-four sonnets, mainly in the voices of relatives, colleagues and friends of Hamilton, who tell the story of the life and reflect the mores of the times.

Iggy will talk about the origins of the project and then focus on some Armagh connections, Hamilton’s friendship with the poet William Wordsworth and his lifelong obsession with his first romantic attachment, Catherine Disney. He will then introduce six people to read a sonnet each, finishing with one which he will read.

Copies of ‘A Mystic Dream of 4’ will be on sale on the night at the special price of £8 for the paperback copy and £16 for the hardback.