New John Montague poem published to mark Poetry Day Ireland

‘Bird Boy’ by acclaimed Irish poet is published as part of national poetry day, which features 50 events around the country

To mark Poetry Day Ireland, a country-wide celebration of poetry on Thursday May 7th, The Irish Times is publishing Bird Boy, a new poem by John Montague, one of Ireland's most acclaimed and internationally recognised poets.

His many achievements include the poems published in The Rough Field in 1972. He was the first occupant of the Ireland chair of poetry.

He has published several volumes of memoir, including The Pear is Ripe.

Montague has been a regular Irish Times reviewer for many years and in the 1960s was a Paris correspondent for this newspaper.


Poetry Ireland has organised a national poetry day since 2008.

Today the organisation will distribute 40,000 cards with poems throughout the country, including 10,000 poetry menus to hospital patients. Fifty readings and events are due to take place in libraries, schools and bookshops.

This year's events include a public conversation between Paul Durcan and Tipperary hurling manager Eamon O'Shea in the Source Arts Centre in Thurles, and readings from the Poems that Make Grown Men Cry anthology in Books Upstairs on D'Olier Street, Dublin, at 1pm.

Sophie Hannah and Paul Perry, two poets who are also known for their crime fiction, will read at Green Street Courthouse, Dublin, at 7pm. Cork County Library and Arts Service has organised a Poetry Wave across 16 branches of Cork county libraries, 10am-4.45pm.

Poetry Ireland’s writers in schools scheme is bringing three poets to schools on three islands around the coast – Cape Clear Island primary school; St Mary’s primary school on Rathlin Island; and Coláiste Naomh Eoin on Inis Meáin.

A day of schools’ workshops will also take place in Thoor Ballylee, the tower in Galway were WB Yeats once lived.

For a full list of Poetry Day Ireland events see