Joe Biden’s reference to James Joyce as an Irish poet, and not as novelist or short-story writer, may have taken some by surprise.    Photograph: Hulton Getty

We well know by now that America’s new president Joe Biden likes to quote Irish poets, particularly Seamus Heaney. His eve of inauguration reference t(...)

Georgie Hyde-Lees with her husband William Butler Yeats. She became the most influential of his muses. He described the leanhaun shee  as  the Gaelic muse, giving  inspiration to those she persecutes. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

Everybody in Ireland still knows what a banshee is, even if reported sightings seem to have tailed off dramatically since the coming of rural electrif(...)

Colm Tóibín: ‘I can’t do thrillers and I can’t do spy novels. I can’t do any genre-fiction books, really, none of them.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Colm Tóibín, award-winning writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and professor of the humanities at Columbia University, New York, was born in En(...)

Our dad the poet: Seamus, Catherine, Mick, Marie and Chris Heaney in the 1970s. Photograph © Bobbie Hanvey; courtesy National Library of Ireland

Five years after the jolt of Seamus Heaney’s unexpected death we are back at a moment. Back with Heaney, whose poems resonate with the rhythm of the l(...)

The Joyce tower in Sandycove, Co Dublin, from which Stephen Dedalus began his odyssey in ‘Ulysses’.

As Bloomsday approaches, there is merit in reflecting on James Joyce’s relationship with mathematics. He entered UCD in September 1898. His examinatio(...)

Author Julia O'Faolain’s latest book, Trespassers, is an exuberant memoir of the great and the good in Irish political and cultural life. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Julia O’Faolain looks a little bit lost, somehow. She has come from London to Dublin to publicise her newly-published memoir, Trespassers . It is a(...)