Michael Hartnett

Born in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, Michael Hartnett was one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets. He wrote in both English and Irish, and also did a great deal of translation. Like many others he emigrated from rural Ireland to England in the 1960s. He returned to West Limerick in the mid-’70s and moved to Dublin about 10 years later.

One of his most famous works, A Farewell to English, was first published in 1975, with an enlarged edition appearing in 1978. His most celebrated work in Irish, Cúlú Íde (The Retreat of Ita Cagney) appeared in 1975. Other collections include Anatomy of a Cliché (1968); The Old Hag of Beare – translation from Irish (1969); Selected Poems (1970); Tao – versions from Chinese (1963 and 1972); Gypsy Ballads, a version of the Romancero Gitano of Frederico Garcia Lorca (1973); Prisoners (1977); Adharca Broic (1978); An Phurgóid (1983); Do Nuala: Foighne Chrainn (1984); Collected Poems, Volume I (1984); Inchicore Haiku (1985); Ó Bruadair, Selected Poems of Dáibhí Ó Bruadair (1985); Collected Poems Volume II (1987 and 1987); A Necklace of Wrens , Poems in Irish and English (1987); Poems to Younger Women (1988); Dánta Naomh Eoin na Croise translation of the poems of St John of the Cross (1991); The Killing of Dreams (1992); Haicéad (1993); New and Selected Poems (1995); Ó Rathaille – The Poems of Aodhaghán Ó Rathaille (1999); and Collected Poems (2001). He translated the Selected Poems of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (1986); co-wrote a play An Lasair Choille with Caitlín Maude (1961) and was co-editor, with James Liddy and Liam O’Connor, of Arena (1963-1965), and with Desmond Egan, of Choice (1973).

He was also poetry editor of The Irish Times for a period. He received an honorary licentiate from Trinity College. He was a recipient of the Irish-American Cultural Institute award (1980); the Arts Council/an Chomhairle Ealaíon award for best book in Irish (1986); the Irish American Cultural Institute award (1988), and the American Fund Literary Award (1990). He travelled widely as a guest lecturer, and, most recently before his death, on an extended tour of Canadian universities

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