“It wasn’t a predictable paper,” said Elaine Dobbyn, a teacher in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. “I thought the State Examinations Commission did a good job of challenging the students without throwing them completely.” Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

There were no tears today for Leaving Cert students of English as Paper 2 performed as students hoped and, dare one suggest, expected on Thursday afte(...)

Me time: Sarah Bannan writes each day from 4.30am to 6.30am. “At that time nobody can disturb me – not my husband or my daughter or my email, nor even social media.” Illustration: CSA/Getty

I write in a tiny crawl space in my one-bedroom cottage every morning from 4.30am to 6.30am. At that time nobody can disturb me – not my husband or(...)

Theo Dorgan’s collection was called a “lumunious book” by the judges. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The winner of this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now award is Cork-born poet Theo Dorgan for his collection, Nine Bright Shiners. The presentation of t(...)

New breed: Simon Rattle works as readily with period-instrument players as with symphony orchestras. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/EPA

It seemed like a great idea for the Royal Irish Academy of Music to devise an event called Ten Thousand Miles Away and use it to explore “the special (...)

Martina Evans

‘Cock your ear and a tradition // opens”, Peter Sirr writes in Continual Visit, one of four long sequences in his new book, The Rooms (Gallery Press, (...)

Vona Groake

The shortlist for this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now Award has been announced.The award, now in its 10th year, is presented for the best single vol(...)

In their long and colourful history, alphabet books have evolved from basic instruction manuals to sophisticated and ingenious works of art. With t(...)

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 (...)

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(...)