Derek Mahon is confirmed dead at the age of 78.
The life of Derek Mahon was long and fruitful. We look forward to reuniting in the glorius afterlife.
'The world will miss Derek💔
What did Derek Mahon do?
Derek was best known as a Irish poet.
How did Derek Mahon die?
Derek Mahon's death was likely due to a broken heart.
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|Born||23 November 1941|
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Derek Mahon (born 23 November 1941 - died 02 October 2020) was an Irish poet. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
3.1.2 Translations / versions / editions
3.2 Non fiction
3.3 Critical studies and reviews of Mahon's work
5 See also
7 Further reading
8 External links
Mahon was born the only child of Ulster Protestant working-class parents. His father and grandfather worked at Harland and Wolff while his mother worked at a local flax mill. During his childhood, he claims he was something of a solitary dreamer, comfortable with his own company yet aware of the world around him. Interested in literature from an early age, he attended Skegoneill Primary school and then the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.
At Inst he encountered fellow students who shared his interest in literature and poetry. The school produced a magazine to which Mahon produced some of his early poems. According to the critic Hugh Haughton his early poems were highly fluent and extraordinary for a person so young.
Mahon pursued third level studies at Trinity College, Dublin where he edited Icarus, and formed many friendships with writers such as Michael Longley, Eavan Boland and Brendan Kennelly. He started to mature as a poet. He left Trinity in 1965 to take up studies at the Sorbonne in Paris.
After leaving the Sorbonne in 1966 he worked his way through Canada and the United States. In 1968, while spending a year teaching English at Belfast High School, he published his first collection of poems Night Crossing. He later taught in a school in Dublin and worked in London as a freelance journalist. He currently lives in Kinsale, Co. Cork. On 23 March. 2007 he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature. He won the Poetry Now Award in 2006 for his collection, Harbour Lights, and again in 2009 for his Life on Earth collection.
At times expressing anti-establishment values, Mahon has described himself as, an ‘aesthete’ with a penchant ‘for left-wingery to which, perhaps naively, I adhere.’
His papers are held at Emory University.
Thoroughly educated and with a keen understanding of literary tradition, Mahon came out of the tumult of Northern Ireland with a formal, moderate, even restrained poetic voice. In an era of free verse, Mahon has often written in received forms, using a broadly applied version of iambic pentameter that, metrically, resembles the "sprung foot" verse of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Some poems rhyme. Even the Irish landscape itself is never all that far from the classical tradition, as in his poem "Achill":
Croagh Patrick towers like Naxos over the water
And I think of my daughter at work on her difficult art
And wish she were with me now between thrush and plover,
Wild thyme and sea-thrift, to lift the weight from my heart.
He has also explored the genre of ekphrasis: the poetic reinterpretation of visual art. In that respect he has been interested in 17th century Dutch and Flemish art.
1965: Twelve Poems. Festival Publications, Belfast
1968: Night-Crossing. Oxford University Press
1970: Ecclesiastes Phoenix Pamphlet Poets
1970: Beyond Howth Head. Dolmen Press
1972: Lives. Oxford University Press
1975: The Snow Party. Oxford University Press
1977: In Their Element. Arts Council of Northern Ireland
1979: Poems 1962–1978. Oxford University Press
1981: Courtyards in Delft. Gallery Press
1982: The Hunt By Night. Oxford University Press
1985: Antarctica. Gallery Press
1990: The Chinese Restaurant in Portrush: Selected Poems. Gallery Press
1991: Selected Poems. Viking
1992: The Yaddo Letter. Gallery Press
1995: The Hudson Letter. Gallery Press; Wake Forest University Press, 1996
1997: The Yellow Book. Gallery Press; Wake Forest University Press, 1998
1999: Collected Poems. Gallery Press
2001: Selected Poems. Penguin
2005: Harbour Lights. Gallery Press (winner of the 2006 Irish Times Poetry Now Award)
2007: Somewhere the Wave. Gallery Press
2008: Life on Earth. Gallery Press (shortlisted for the 2009 International Griffin Poetry Prize; winner of the 2009 Irish Times Poetry Now Award)
2010: An Autumn Wind. Gallery Press
2011: New Collected Poems. Gallery Press
2016: New Selected Poems. Faber & Faber; Gallery Press
Translations / versions / editions
1982: The Chimeras (a version of Les Chimères, by Nerval), Gallery Press
1985: High Time (a version of Molière's A School for Husbands), Gallery Press
1988: The Selected Poems of Philippe Jaccottet, Viking, 1988.
1996: The Bacchae of Euripides, and Racine's Phaedra, Gallery Press
2002: Birds (a version of Oiseaux, by Saint-John Perse), Gallery Press
2004: Cyrano de Bergerac. (A version of the play by Edmond Rostand), Gallery Press
2005: Oedipus (A conflation of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus), Gallery Press
2006: Adaptations (A collection of versions, rather than translations proper, from poets such as Pasolini, Juvenal, Bertolt Brecht, Paul Valéry, Baudelaire, Rilke and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill), Gallery Press
Mahon, Derek (2013). Echo's grove : collected translations. The Gallery Press.
1996: Journalism: selected prose, 1970–1995. Ed. Terence Brown. Gallery Press
Critical studies and reviews of Mahon's work
Enniss, Stephen (2014) After the Titanic: A Life of Derek Mahon, Gill & Macmillan
Haughton, Hugh (2007) The Poetry of Derek Mahon, Oxford University Press
Cooke, Belinda (June–July 2014). "Nasty, brutish and short". The London Magazine: 99–104. Review of Echo's grove.
1965 - Eric Gregory Award for poetry
1989 - Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize
1990 - Lannan Literary Awards for Poetry
1992 - The Irish Times-Aer Lingus Poetry Prize
1995 - Honorary doctorate Trinity College Dublin.
2001 - Honorary doctorate NUI Galway - for work reflecting the enduring aesthetic of achievement in contemporary Irish writing.
2007 - David Cohen Prize for Literature - in recognition of his ‘lifetime’s achievement’
Irish Academy of Letters Award
2020 - Irish Times Poetry Now award
List of Northern Irish writers
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