A young Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney’s first major volume of poetry, Death of a Naturalist, was published by Faber & Faber in 1966. On May 24th that year, his fellow poe(...)

The mid-winter of a good breeding year may find up to 20 million wrens in these islands, some six million of them in Ireland. Drawing: Michael Viney

On my first Christmas in Ireland, in 1961, I lived in a chilly holiday cottage in Tully, on Connemara’s Renvyle Peninsula. Across the road, the villag(...)

Poet and Nobel laureate  Seamus Heaney’s portrait by Tai Shan Schierenberg that is being used by the Northern Ireland Office to commemorate Northern Ireland’s centenary.

It is tempting to wonder what Seamus Heaney would have made of the controversy over the use of his portrait to promote the centenary of Northern Irela(...)

Our national anthem was originally written by Peadar Kearney in English and was translated into Irish only in 1916.

As a sports fan I find myself singing Amhrán na bhFiann quite a lot: whether it is watching soccer or rugby internationals at the Aviva or (less frequ(...)

Trinity College’s front lawns are the main public pathway into the college, and also the green areas of the university most easily visible from the street. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Trinity College Dublin wants to manage its very formal front lawns as wildflower meadows. This is a bold and telling indication of a shift in our cult(...)

The innocence of early writing about Irish nature gave way to centuries of dramatic change, from druidic worship of the ancient forest to modern, ecological passion and alarm. Picture: Michael Viney

For the cock blackbird that visits my windowsill, with a sharp glance past my computer, our leafy acre offers shelter on a windswept, tightly nibbled (...)

Rarest of all the Dooaghtry snails is the sand-bowl amber snail or Quickella arenaria

A sharp turn of the road on our hillside presents a view that helps to put the “wild” in the Wild Atlantic Way. From the rising mass of Mweelrea, shar(...)

Many of Ciaran Carson’s poems captured the local lived experience of the Troubles with a sharp caustic lyrical force. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

Born: October 9th, 1948   Died: October 6th, 2019 Ciaran Carson, one of the most talented Northern Irish poets of his generation and a gifted tr(...)

‘When the Good Friday Agreement was painstakingly achieved I felt it had an almost poetic complexity,’ writes Michael Longley. ’You might say that today Northern Irish politics more often resemble bad prose.’ Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Two quotations – possibly (maybe even probably) the two best-known poetic references to the Troubles and peace process – are cited a number of times i(...)

Derek Mahon’s latest work Against The Clock was described by   the judges as a masterpiece, dwelling with style and wit on “love and loss, transience, age and time”. File photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The winner of this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now award is the Belfast-born poet Derek Mahon for Against the Clock (Gallery Press). This is the third t(...)

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