Contemporary Irish Poetry Featured Writer: Patrick Deeley

Patrick Deeley- Six poems                                              Contemporary Irish Poetry Index

Patrick Deeley
Patrick Deeley. photograph by Ann Hannan


Patrick Deeley was born in Loughrea, County Galway, in 1953. He worked as a primary school teacher and later as principal in De La Salle School, Balyfermot, before taking early retirement in 2012 to devote himself full-time to writing. Many of his early poems were published in the New Irish Writing page of The Irish Press in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since then his work has appeared in several leading literary journals in Ireland, UK, USA, and Canada. Patrick’s poems have been included in approximately fifty anthologies, broadcast widely on radio and television, and translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Ukrainian, and other languages.

Patrick’s collections with Dedalus Press include Intimate Strangers (1986), Names for Love (1990), Turane: the Hidden Village (1995), Decoding Samara (2001), The Bones of Creation (2008), and Groundswell: New and Selected Poems (2013). His most recent awards for poetry include the Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize in 2014, the WOW Award in 2015, and a Bursary in Literature 2017 from the Arts Council of Ireland towards the completion of a new collection. His poem ‘Woodman’ was chosen as one of Ireland’s 100 Favourite Poems in a survey organised by The Irish Times.

Patrick is also a writer of fiction for young readers. His novel, The Lost Orchard, published by O’Brien Press, won the Éilís Dillon Award for a First Children’s Book in 2001. His best-selling, critically acclaimed memoir, The Hurley Maker’s Son, appeared from Transworld in 2016.

He has conducted workshops for writers’ groups and literary festivals throughout Ireland and devised a highly acclaimed poetry course illustrating ways into poetry and poem-making for and by children – Poetry in the Classroom – sanctioned by the Department of Education. Patrick has also facilitated modules for post graduate students at TCD as part of literary exchange programmes, and read at many festivals including Cuirt, Galway Arts, Kilkenny Arts, Cork Spring Festival, Irish Music and Literature Festival in Oulu, Finland, and at South Bank, London. He worked as a member of the Council of Poetry Ireland from 1984 to 1989.


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