PÁDRAIG Ó TUAMA on Finding Uncommon Ground /135

Ruin in Ireland by Andrew Ridley

Ruin in Ireland by Andrew Ridley

The Isle of Éire (Ireland) is rich with stories held by the land, both ancient and modern, laden with fierce culture and colonial violence. Poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama perceives these complex layers of history with acute insights into the lingering impacts of imperialism and sectarianism that have divided Ireland. By acknowledging deeply rooted cultural pain, Pádraig calls for Irish, English, and the rest of us to heal by reckoning with the past and embracing the creative potential held within our differences. Pádraig’s work has been embodied by serving as a leader at Corrymeela, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization, where disagreement is a meeting ground for togetherness. In this interview, Pádraig exposes the wounds of colonization, famine, the partition of Ireland, and The Troubles, while illustrating today’s challenges to Irish sovereignty that have resurfaced with Brexit. To Pádraig, land and language form the bedrock of culture, both equally vulnerable to colonization that severs the fabric of communities; language also offers the promise of healing from conflict if we are to revive our connections to the land and to each other. 

Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centres around themes of language, religion, conflict and art. Working fluently on the page and with groups of people, Pádraig is a skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. His work has won acclaim in circles of poetry, politics, religion, psychotherapy and conflict analysis.

I am interested in the kind of stories and belonging that can flourish when common ground does not seem apparent; and I’m interested in ways in which difference and un-sameness can seem like an invitation rather than a threat.
— Pádraig Ó Tuama / Episode 135
Pádraig Ó Tuama

Pádraig Ó Tuama

Enter a poetic journey where the land awaits us beyond the divide of borders, history, and suffering. Ayana and Pádraig explore the language of uncommon belonging; how we must learn from our shame and the danger of forgetting history, the life cycle of violence, the nature of colonial power, the poetic origins of violence embedded in policy, and how to confront the inheritance of privilege. Pádraig reminds us of the real power of story to shape our lives and calls for the revival of the bodily, earthen origins of Irish language. 

♫ Music by Peia


Pádraig Ó Tuama, In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World
Pádraig Ó Tuama, The Place Between, chapter in Between Here and There, Tim Carson [ed.]
Joseph Liechty, Cecelia Clegg, Moving Beyond Sectarianism: Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland
Frederick Douglas
James Baldwin
Joseph Brodzky
john a. Powell


MaJoy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings
Richard Blanco, How to Love a Country
Marie Howe, Magdalene
Faisal Mohyuddin, The Displaced Children of Displaced Children
Danez Smith,  Don’t Call Us Dead 


Explore Pádraig Ó Tuama’s poetry, prose, and work on his website: http://www.padraigotuama.com

Listen to recordings of Pádraig reading from his poetry collections here: http://www.padraigotuama.com/poetry-audio and on Bandcamp: https://padraigotuama.bandcamp.com

Learn more about Corrymeela’s community and consider supporting their peace and reconciliation work with a donation: https://www.corrymeela.org/donate

About Our Podcast…

At For The Wild, we discuss the critical ideas of our time and parlay them into action for the defense and regeneration of natural communities. Key topics include the rediscovery of wild nature, ecological renewal and resistance, and healing from the trauma of individualistic society. We will travel deep into ancient forests, align with the struggles and ways of Earth-based people, and rekindle the mysteries of intuition. We will join today’s brightest visionaries in this momentous work of reimagining a world where humanity can find its way back into the web of life.

+ S U B S C R I B E   O N   i T U N E S + J O I N U S O N P A T R E O N