Irish Writers Online a concise dictionary of irish writers Mon, 16 Nov 2015 12:14:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Coster, Vincent S. Fri, 13 Nov 2015 20:43:59 +0000
Vincent S Coster
Vincent S Coster. Image source: author
Vincent S. Coster was born in Dublin in 1976 but grew up in Bray Co. Wicklow.
His poetry collections are The Folk Hero Midget (Createspace Independent Publishing 2001); There Are Words (Createspace Independent Publishing 2009); The Spirit Of Youth (Createspace Independent publishing 2012); Poems From Another Shore (Createspace Independent Publishing 2013); and Eat Not My Brother (Createspace Independent Publishing 2015).

He now lives in the UK.

Vincent S. Coster’s website

Vincent S. Coster on Twitter

Vincent S. Coster’s Books

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Murray, Christine Sun, 11 Oct 2015 12:53:09 +0000
Christine Murray. Image source
Christine Murray. Image source

Christine Murray’s chapbooks are Three Red Things (Smithereens Press, 2013); and Signature (Bone Orchard Press, 2014).
Her collections are Cycles (Lapwing Press, 2013); and She (Oneiros Books, 2014).

A dark tale The Blind was published by Oneiros Books in 2013.

She is a graduate of Art History and English Literature, and a City and Guilds qualified restoration stonecutter.

for full bio see Christine Murray at Poethead

Poethead – a Poetry Blog

Contemporary Irish Women Poets at Poethead

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MacDermott, Karl Sun, 20 Sep 2015 13:14:57 +0000 Karl MacDermott. Image source author
Karl MacDermott. Image source author

Karl MacDermott was born in Galway. An occasional performer, he appeared in his own one -man comedy play ‘Memoirs of a Midget’ in The Peacock on The Abbey Stage in 1989.

Since then has written extensively for radio and has had comedy series’ on both RTE Radio One ‘Gone But Forgotten’, (2002) ‘Here’s Johnny’ (2007) and BBC Radio Four ‘The Mahaffys’(1998). He also has written radio plays on RTE Radio One including two plays of the week, ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Conversations in the Dark’.

A six – part television comedy drama series he wrote, ‘Straight To Video’ was broadcast on RTE Two in 2001 and over the years he has contributed many satirical articles to The Irish Times.

His novels are The Creative Lower Being (Mullingar, Killynon House Books, 2007); and Ireland’s Favourite Failure (Amazon Kindle, 2014).

He is currently writer-in-residence at his home in Dublin.


Dross FM interviews comedy writer Karl MacDermott
Karl MacDermott on
Karl MacDermott on
Karl MacDermott at The National Library of Ireland
See also his radio plays at NLI

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Foley, Michael Mon, 15 Jun 2015 21:43:25 +0000
Michael Foley
Michael Foley. Image source
Michael Foley was born Derry in 1947.

His poetry collections are Heil Hitler (Portrush, Ulsterman Publications, 1969); The Acne and the Ecstasy (Ulsterman Publications, 1973); Through the Gateless Gate (Ulsterman, 1976), True Life Love Stories (Belfast, The Blackstaff Press, 1976), The Irish Frog , Versions of Laforgue (Ulsterman, 1978), The GO Situation (The Blackstaff Press, 1982); Insomnia in the Afternoon (The Blackstaff Press, 1994); Autumn Beguiles the Fatalist (The Blackstaff Press, 2006); and New and Selected Poems (The Blackstaff Press, 2011).

His fiction includes The Passion of Jamesie Coyle (Belfast, Fortnight Publications, 1984); The Road to Notown (The Blackstaff Press, 1996); Getting Used To Not Being Remarkable (The Blackstaff Press, 1998); and Beyond (The Blackstaff Press, 2002).

His non-fiction includes The Age of Absurdity (London, Simon & Schuster 2010); Embracing the Ordinary (Simon & Schuster, 2012); and Life Lessons from Bergson (London, Pan Macmillan, 2013).

He was joint-editor of the Honest Ulsterman with Frank Ormsby from 1969-72.

In 1972 he moved to London, where he still lives, and a career in teaching, culminating in twenty three years at the University of Westminster lecturing in Information Technology. He retired in 2007 to devote himself to writing.

Michael Foley’s Website

Michael Foley at Simon & Schuster

Michael Foley at The National Library of Ireland

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McLachlan, Nicholas Sun, 14 Jun 2015 22:11:43 +0000
Nicholas McLachlan
Nicholas McLachlan. Image source
Nicholas McLachlan was born in Dublin.

His debut collection is The Rain Barrel (Cliffs of Moher, Salmon Poetry, 2015).

After a long career as an athlete with Donore Harriers he moved to Kerry to write. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals, anthologies, broadsheets, artist catalogues and festschrifts and he was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introductions series in 2004.

Also a short story writer, his first published short story won the Martin Healy Short Story Award. His stories have been published in The Irish Times, Force 10 and the Cork Literary Review. He has produced and edited two books: 80mph – A Festschrift for Leland Bardwell and Ildána, a bi-lingual book featuring the work of over eighty west Kerry artists and writers. He is a tutor on the creative writing adult education programme in Dingle. For fifteen years he was director of Dingle Writing Courses, an organisation he founded with his partner Abigail Joffe. He lives under Mount Eagle in Ventry, County Kerry.

Nicholas McLachlan at Salmon Poetry

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Lyons, Alice Sun, 14 Jun 2015 21:36:43 +0000
Alice Lyons
Alice Lyons. Photo
Alice Lyons was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1960 and grew up in its suburbs.

Her year-long public art project in the community of Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim is documented in the book Staircase Poems (Carrick-on-Shannon, The Dock, 2006). She is also author of speck: poems 2002-2009 (Belfast, Lapwing, 2015).

She is the recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry, the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary, and grants in literature and film from the Arts Council of Ireland.

Lyons often collaborates with artists and film makers on interdisciplinary and public art projects that explore poetry and its publication in new contexts and media. She has
written and co-directed poetry films with animator/fine artist Orla McHardy, including The Polish Language (2009), which was nominated for an IFTA.

She has earned degrees in European history, sociolinguistics, and fine art from Connecticut College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Boston University. She served on the faculty at Maine College of Art in Portland for a number of years before moving, in 1998, to Cootehall, County Roscommon.

She holds a PhD from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast. Lyons is curator of Poetry Now at the Mountains to Sea Book Festival. She is a 2015/16 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University.

Lyons lives in Sligo, where she works as a writer, teacher and curator.

Alice Lyons’ Website

A short poem by Alice Lyons made into a film by Orla Mc Hardy.

The Polish Language

Alice Lyons at The National Library of Ireland

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Mooney, Matt Sun, 14 Jun 2015 20:58:13 +0000 Matt Mooney
Matt Mooney. Photo courtesy of author

Matt Mooney. Courtesy of the author[/caption]Matt Mooney was born in Kilchreest, Co Galway in 1943.

His poetry collections are Droving (Listowel, Matt Mooney, 2003); Falling Apples (Original Writing, 2010); and Earth to Earth (Galway Academic Press, 2015).

He has lived in Listowel since 1966.


Matt Mooney at The National Library of Ireland

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McKenna, Christina Sun, 19 Apr 2015 21:00:18 +0000 Christina McKenna
Christina McKenna. Image source author

Christina McKenna was born in Draperstown, County Derry, in 1957. She graduated in Fine Art and English and exhibited as a painter before becoming a writer.

Her first published work was the memoir My Mother Wore a Yellow Dress (Glasgow, NWP, 2004). With David M. Kiely she co-authored The Dark Sacrament: Exorcism in Modern Ireland (Dublin, Gill & Macmillan, 2006/San Francisco, HarperOne, 2007). She also published Ireland¹s Haunted Women (Dublin, Poolbeg Press, 2010).

Her best-known work is the Tailorstown trilogy of novels: The Misremembered Man (Connecticut, Toby Press, 2010), The Disenchanted Widow (Seattle, Amazon Publishing, 2013) and The Godforsaken Daughter (Seattle, Lake Union Publishing, 2015).

Christine McKenna’s Website

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Gorman, Roddy Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:54:46 +0000
Rody Gorman
Rody Gorman. Image by Éóg1916, CC-By-3
Rody Gorman was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1960.

He has published the poetry collections Fax and Other Poems (Polygon, 1996); Cùis-Ghaoil (diehard, 1999), Bealach Garbh (Coiscéim, 1999), Air a’ Charbad fo Thalamh/On the Underground (Polygon, 2000), Naomhóga na Laoi (Coiscéim, 2003), Tóithín ag Tláithínteacht (Lapwing, 2004), An Duilleog agus an Crotal (Coiscéim, 2004), Flora from Lusitania (Lapwing, 2005) Zonda? Khamsin? Sharaav? Camanchaca? (Leabhraichean Beaga, Inverness, 2006) and Eadar Fiaradh is Balbh na h-Oidhche (diehard, Callander, 2007) in English, Irish and Scottish Gaelic. His selected poems in Irish and Scottish Gaelic, Chernilo, were published by Coiscéim in 2006.

He lives in the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

*With acknowledgements to the Scottish Poetry Library

Rody Gorman at Scottish Poetry Library

Rody Gorman at The National Library of Ireland

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Ryan, Donal Sun, 09 Nov 2014 13:53:32 +0000
Donal Ryan
Donal Ryan. Image source
Donal Ryan was born in Co Tipperary in 1976.
His novels are The Spinning Heart (Dublin, Lilliput, 2012/Hanover, NH, Steerforth Press, 2014), and The Thing About December (London, Doubleday Ireland, 2014/Steerforth Press, 2014).

The Spinning Heart won the the 2012 Irish Book Awards for Best Newcomer, and Book of the Year, The Guardian First Book Award, was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Thing About December was shortlisted for the 2013 Irish Book Awards.

He lives in Co Limerick.


Published on 28 Nov 2012
Author Donal Ryan reads from his book ‘The Spinning Heart’ in Kennys Bookshop, Galway, Ireland. 2012

Donal Ryan at Random House
Donal Ryan at The National Library of Ireland


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