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Derek Mahon

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Derek Mahon

Derek Mahon was born in Belfast, North Ireland, on November 23, 1941. He was educated at Trinity College in Dublin.

His most recent books of poetry include An Autumn Wind (Gallery Press, 2010); Life on Earth (Gallery Press, 2008); Somewhere the Wave (Gallery Press, 2007); Harbour Lights (Gallery Press, 2005); and Collected Poems (Gallery Press, 1999). He also coauthored In Their Element: A Selection of Poems with Seamus Heaney (Arts Council of Northern Ireland, 1977).

Hugh Haughton, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, referred to Mahon’s work “[as a] verse of astonishing versatility and singing power.”

His honors include the Scott-Manriet Translation Prize, two Poetry Now Awards in 2006  and 2009, the Irish American Foundation Award, a Lannan Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the Arts Council Bursary, and the Eric Gregory Award.

Mahon lives in Kinsale, Co. Cork in Ireland.

Selected Bibliography


An Autumn Wind (Gallery Press, 2010)
Life on Earth (Gallery Press, 2008)
Somewhere the Wave (Gallery Press, 2007)
Harbour Lights
(Gallery Press, 2005)
Resistance Days (Gallery Press, 2001)
Poems (Gallery Press, 2001)
Collected Poems (Gallery Press, 1999)
The Hudson Letter (Wake Forest University Press, 1996)
The Yaddo Letter (Gallery Press, 1992)
Selected Poems (Viking, 1991)
Antarctica (Gallery Press, 1985)
A Kensington Notebook (Anvil Press, 1984)
The Hunt by Night (Oxford University Press, 1982)
Courtyards in Delft (Gallery Books, 1981)
Poems, 1962-1978 (Oxford University Press, 1979)


Journalism: Selected Prose, 1970-1995 (Gallery Press, 1996)

by this poet


im chaonaí uaigneach nach mór go bhfeicim an lá

I lie and imagine a first light gleam in the bay
    After one more night of erosion and nearer the grave,
Then stand and gaze from the window at break of day
   As a shearwater skims the ridge of an incoming wave;
And I think of my son a dolphin in

collected in

In celebration of the Irish poets who have changed how we think about...