WC Fields’s dictum urging artists to avoid working with children and animals is widely known. It might then strike us as somewhat curious that cert(...)

Eithne Jordan, Cecily Brennan, Alice Maher and Paula Meehan outside Leinster House on Monday at the launch of the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

More than 240 Irish artists including actors, authors, painters and poets have signed a petition to the Government to repeal the 8th amendment to the (...)

Muhammad Ali, the subject of a new poem in Poetry by Declan Ryan, poses a portrait in his robe in 1964. Photograph: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

In their beginnings the generation of poets that included Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, Richard Murphy and the slightly younger Seamus Heaney and(...)

Harry Clifton, Paula Meehan and Michael Longley: to spend even a short time with these three very different poets is to experience a tiny fraction of their love of words and their finely-tuned sense of mischief. Photograph: Dylan Madden

The Ireland Chair of Poetry is a solemn, formal, academic institution. The poets who hold it, however, tend to be anything but. Gather the three mo(...)

 ‘Jennifer Johnston’s fiction reminds us of the indeterminacy of the past, and the dangers of idealising any one version of Ireland’s recent history, or our own family history.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Widely regarded as one of Ireland’s foremost contemporary novelists, Jennifer Johnston occupies a curious place in Irish literature. Although her tale(...)

WB Yeats in Walter de la Mare’s garden at Taplow in 1935. Passengers on London’s Underground system have been able to read the works of a half-dozen Irish poets, led by WB Yeats, as they make their way to and from work

The rush hour journey on London’s Underground is usually the time when commuters’ attention flags as they stare into space, avoiding eye contact, retr(...)

 Paula Meehan: “I was thrilled when she was announced as Ireland Professor of Poetry. In that role, she has set out her stall as being to join the street to the academy – I can think of no-one better placed to do so.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

In 2008, as a mature student in Galway, I encountered again Paula Meehan’s The Statue of the Virgin at Granard Speaks. It came as a jolt to realise(...)

 “I’m just delighted I survived. I still can’t believe it. I keep  reminding myself I’m only a whippersnapper. If I glimpse myself in a mirror, it’s like, who’s that?” Paula Meehan,  at her  home in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Paula Meehan: the poet at 60

When Michael D Higgins hosted a cultural evening in the Forbidden City in Beijing on his state visit to China in December, he invited Paula Meehan (...)

Seamus Heaney. Photographer: Jack McManus

Lisa Hannigan Singer Anahorish, soft gradient, of consonant, vowel-meadow. I was really stuck for ages last year and took to reading Se(...)

The statue of Patrick Kavanagh on the canal near Baggot Street bridge. The poet’s A Christmas Childhood is among the 10 poems shortlisted in search for  Ireland’s best loved poems of the past 100 years. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Patrick Kavanagh’s timeless A Christmas Childhood, William Butler Yeats’s Easter 1916 and Paul Durcan’s Making Love Outside Áras an Uachtaráin have be(...)