Gerard Smyth

Gerard Smyth is a poet, critic and journalist. He was born in 1951 in Dublin where he still lives. His poetry has appeared widely in journals in Ireland, Britain and the United States since the late 1960s, as well as in translation.

His first publications were with New Writers’ Press, including The Flags are Quiet  1969 ), a chapbook published when he was still in school and then his first full collection, World Without End (1977).  Raven Arts Press published Loss and Gain (1981). He has published seven poetry collections with Dedalus Press – Painting the Pink Roses Black (1986); Daytime Sleeper (2002); A New Tenancy (2004); The Mirror Tent (2007); The Fullness of Time, New and Selected Poems ( 2010); A Song of Elsewhere ( 2015 ) and The Sundays of Eternity ( 2020).

In 2017, The Yellow River, a collaborative poetry and paintings project with fellow Aosdána member, artist  Seán McSweeney was commissioned and published by the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan. A combined exhibition of the paintings and poems was shown in the Solstice and in the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork.  Two limited edition poem sequences, We Like it Here Beside the River (with a drawing by Donald Teskey) and After Easter (with a drawing by Brian Maguire) were published by The Salvage Press.

He has contributed essays to several anthologies, including books on fellow Dublin poets Eavan Boland and Thomas Kinsella as well as writing on other literary and cultural figures including Seamus Heaney, Czeslaw Milosz, Patrick Kavanagh, Francis Ledwidge, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. For many years he was Irish Times Managing Editor with responsibility for the paper’s arts and literary coverage.

His poetry has been included in a number of anthologies, including Windharp, Poems of Ireland since 1916 ( Penguin Ireland, editor Niall McMonagle ), All Through the Night ( Poetry Ireland, editor Marie Heaney ) Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan ( Two River Press, Minnesota, ed Thom Tammaro and Alan Davis ), Everything to Play For ( Poetry Ireland, editor John McAuliffe ), The Hippocrates Book of the Heart ( Editors Wendy French, Michael Hulse and Donald Singer ), If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus, editors Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth ), On the Banks: Cork City in Poems and Song  (Editor Allanah Hopkin ), The Ledwidge Papers ( Editor Gerald Dawe ), Through Streets Broad and Narrow: Voices of Dublin ( editor Declan Collinge )

He was the 2012 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the University of St Thomas in Minnesota and is co-editor, with Pat Boran, of If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song (Dedalus Press) which was Dublin’s One City One Book in 2014. He is also editor of Dick Walsh Remembered (TownHouse), a compilation of the former Irish Times Political Editor’s weekly columns. He has served on the boards of several cultural organisations including Poetry Ireland, Rough Magic Theatre Company and The Ark Children’s Cultural Centre for which he is an ambassador.

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