Philip Larkin on reading his poetry to audiences: ‘I don’t want to go around pretending to be me.’ Photograph: Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

‘For poetry readings, the general rule is that if the poet is outnumbered it is a success.” This remark by the poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch infor(...)

Paul Muldoon: “My God, where’s the door?” Photograph: Dave Kotinsky/Getty

In a brilliant collection of prose pieces, The Outnumbered Poet, the late, much-missed Dennis O’Driscoll writes that he would have found it “embarrass(...)

Peter Fallon, with Moses Hill in Loughcrew. Photograph: Suella Holland/The Gallery Press

Peter Fallon was my first poet – the first I met, the first I heard read poems in public. When I moved to Dublin in 1970, unlettered in the ways of(...)

The editor of the Cork Literary Review, Eugene O’Connell. Photograph Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The debate about the so-called death of print is an evolving story, as the popularity of ebook readers such as the Kindle and iPad changes people’s re(...)

Poet and former Irish Times managing editor Gerry Smyth  with Julie O’Callaghan, who accepted the Irish Times Poetry Now award on behalf of her husband, Dennis O’Driscoll. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A poignant period for Irish poetry continued in Dún Laoghaire on Saturday as this year’s Dlr Irish Times Poetry Now award, won by Dennis O’Driscoll’s (...)

Poet and former Irish Times managing editor Gerry Smyth  with Julie O’Callaghan, who accepted the Irish Times Poetry Now award on behalf of her husband, Dennis O’Driscoll. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A poignant period for Irish poetry continued in Dún Laoghaire on Saturday as this year’s Dlr Irish Times Poetry Now award, won by Dennis O’Driscoll’s (...)

Trio of friends: John Montague, his wife, Elizabeth Wassel, and Seamus Heaney in 2009. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Recently I spoke in Enniskillen at the Happy Days Beckett festival, an event Seamus would have loved for its generosity of spirit. He, like myself, em(...)

Dennis O’Driscoll: died last December. Photograph: Ian Oliver

Dennis O’Driscoll’s final collection Dear Life has won this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now Award. The poet died last December and the award will be pr(...)

Seamus Heaney at a turf bog in Bellaghy, Co Derry, in 1986, wearing his father’s coat, hat and walking stick. Photograph: Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archives/John J Burns Library/Boston College.

    Throughout his career Seamus Heaney had to chart his way through the tempestuous waters of being an Ulster, Irish and inte(...)