The Ireland Chair of Poetry

Previous Professors


John Montague / Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill / Paul Durcan / Michael Longley
/ Harry Clifton

Professor John Montague


p1(Photograph courtesy of Peter Fallon, The Gallery Press)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1929, he was raised in County Tyrone, and educated at University College Dublin, and Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley. He co-founded Claddagh Records, and became president of Poetry Ireland in 1979. He has taught at UCD, University College Cork, the Sorbonne, and at several American universities.  His poetry includes Forms of Exile (1958); Poisoned Lands (1961); A Chosen Light (1967); Tides (1970); The Rough Field (1972), which was performed with music by the Chieftans at the Peacock Theatre; A Slow Dance (1975); The Great Cloak (1978); The Dead Kingdom (1984); Mount Eagle (1988); The Love Poems (1992); Time in Armagh (1993); Collected Poems (1995); Smashing the Piano (1999), Carnac, a translation of work by the French poet Guillevic (1999), Selected Poems (2000) and Drunken Sailor (2004).


The Lost Notebook, a novella based on his youthful years in Florence, won the first Hughes Award in 1987.  He has published two volumes of autobiography: Company and The Pear is Ripe: A Memoir. Other fiction includes several collections of stories, Death of a Chieftan (1964), An Occasion of Sin (1992) and The Love Present (1997). He won the Marten Toonder Award in 1977, a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980, and the Ireland Funds Literary Award in 1995. He was the first Ireland Professor of Poetry from 1998 to 2001.


Selected Poems

Herbert Street Revisited View

Mount Eagle View

A Flowering Absence View


"Herbert Street Revisited", "Mount Eagle", "A Flowering Absence" from Collected Poems (1995) by John Montague published by The Gallery Press. Used by permission of The Gallery Press