Inis fa Réim / An Island of Fame

Gavin Clarke Christian, history, irish

Presented below is the latest in the series of translations by ILS member Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). O’Connor’s earlier translations for us from Ó Rathaille are also available on the ILS blog. O’Connor gives us a new translation of the Irish version, attributed to Ó Rathaille, of St …

The Blind Playwright

Gavin Clarke Family, history, Poetry, Theatre

By LYNDA O’KEEFFE My research on the life and works of John O’Keeffe began over eight years ago, it began after I delved into the never-ending realms of genealogy. My own children have continued a tradition of generations of my family treading the boards, I wanted to know just how far back tradition stretched. Finding John O’Keeffe was a thrill …

Under This Slab / Faoi Lár na Lice seo

Gavin Clarke death, history, irish, language

Presented below is the latest in the series of translations by ILS member Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). O’Connor’s earlier translations for us from Ó Rathaille are also available on the ILS blog. For those without Irish it is worth reading the original to appreciate the complexity of …

On Kinsella’s The Dual Tradition

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Poetry, Reading, translation

by BERNARD O’DONOGHUE 1986 was a dramatic year in the history of anthologies of Irish poetry in English. There were several well-regarded anthologies already, by Donagh MacDonagh and Lennox Robinson (Oxford), by Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon (Pan), by John Montague (Faber) and Brendan Kennelly (Penguin). But two of these four publishers produced new anthologies in 1986, each of them …

Gile na Gile

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Poetry

Presented below is the latest in the series of translations by ILS member Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). O’Connor’s earlier translations for us from Ó Rathaille are also available on the ILS blog. Found in a 1725 manuscript, Gile na Gile (literally “Brightness of Brightness”) is one of …

Tonn Toime - new translation from Ó Rathaille

Gavin Clarke history, irish, language, Nature, Poetry

The Wave of Toime is the latest in a series of translations for the ILS by Brian O’Connor of the great Irish poet of the late 17th and early 18th century, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille (c.1670–1726). ‘Tonn Toime’ describes the disturbed sleep of the poet and his appeal to the chieftains of the past for respite and a return to the …

The Settlement: Family history and writing a historical novel.

Gavin Clarke Family, history, Troubles

By RUTH KIRBY-SMITH How ironic it is that I ended up writing a historical novel as history was my least favourite school subject. As an insouciant fourteen-year-old I was cheeky to the toughest history master at Methodist College Belfast; he gave me such a roasting that it was still remembered at our 50-year reunion in 2017. I never turned a …

The WB Yeats Bedford Park Project

Gavin Clarke history, London, Poetry, statue

By CAHAL DALLAT Opening a Can of Worms “Why would London want to honour Ireland’s national poet?” is the question, asked in a range of tones and phrasings. The starting point’s that it clearly does, as half our WB Yeats Bedford Park Artwork Project backers on the crowdfund page (where you can read more on Londoner Conrad Shawcross RA’s Yeats-inspired …

Writing Today in Ulster Scots

Gavin Clarke history, language, Poetry, translation, Ulster Scots

By ANGELA GRAHAM Why is it so hard to find writing in Ulster Scots among contemporary publications? Has it gone for good or is it poised to make a come-back? Up to the mid-twentieth century it was commonplace to find Ulster Scots poetry and prose in literary magazines or in newspapers but now it is exceptional. Although there is a …