Poetry Reading by John F. Deane and Sean Lysaght at the Creel Restaurant, Westport Quay on Thursday evening February 19th at 8.00pm.

John F. Deane.                                                                                                  

Born Achill Island 1943; founded Poetry Ireland - the National Poetry Society - and The Poetry Ireland Review, 1979; Published several collections of poetry and some fiction; Won the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry, the Marten Toonder Award for Literature and poetry prizes from Italy and Romania.  Elected President of the European Academy of Poetry in 2008. Shortlisted for both the T.S.Eliot prize and The Irish Times Poetry Now Award, He won residencies in Bavaria, Monaco and Paris. Latest poetry collection “The Instruments of Art”, Carcanet 2005; “In Dogged Loyalty”, essays on religious poetry, Columba 2006; latest fiction “The Heather Fields and Other Stories,” Blackstaff Press 2007. He is a member of Aosdána.  In 2007 the French Government honoured him by making him “Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres”. In 2008 he was visiting scholar in the Burns Library of Boston College.

He will read from his recent book of poetry "A Little Book of Hours,” published by Carcanet in 2008.  A Little Book of Hours takes as its starting points John Donne’s ‘No man is an island’ and St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: ‘For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ’. In a series of linked sequences, John F. Deane explores the meanings of ‘The Jesus Body, the Jesus Bones’, how each human being shares in a coherent universe in our world broken by wars and violence. Beginning with the simplicities of island life, the book turns to the politics of greed. King David, psalmist and warmonger, stands at the centre of the book, in passages that look at humanity’s destructiveness and creativity. Taking its cue from the Psalms, the book concludes with journeys in search of truth and meaning, and a meditation on guilt and innocence. A Little Book of Hours is Deane’s deepest exploration of the relevance of Christianity to our times. His music praises the beauty of wholeness in the world and mourns what is broken.

Seán Lysaght. 

Seán Lysaght was born in 1957 and grew up in Limerick. He was educated at UCD, where he received a BA and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature. He subsequently spent several years abroad, in Switzerland and Germany, before teaching at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He now lectures at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and lives with his wife Jessica and his son Seamus in Westport, County Mayo. In 1985 he was an award winner at the annual Patrick Kavanagh poetry festival. His first collection of poetry, Noah's Irish Ark was published in 1989, followed by The Clare Island Survey (Gallery, 1991; nominated for The Irish Times/Aer Lingus poetry award). Between 1990 and 1994 he lectured in English at St Patrick's College, Maynooth and received a PhD for his work on the life and writings of Robert Lloyd Praeger, subsequently published as Robert Lloyd Praeger: The Life of a Naturalist (Four Courts, 1998). His subsequent collections, Scarecrow (1998) and Erris (2002) and The Mouth of a River (2007) were published by The Gallery Press. He recently received the 2007 O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. 

Venetian Epigrams (Translations after Goethe) was published in June 2008.  George Eliot called Goethe (1749-1832) ‘Germany’s greatest man of letters...and the last true polymath to walk the earth’. His Venetian Epigrams, largely composed between 31 March and 21 May 1790, provide — as Seán Lysaght notes in his introduction to these new translations — ‘insights into the erotic and intellectual world of the commanding figure of Germany’s classical age’.Many of these witty observations — few of the hundred-and-fifty-eight exceed six lines — were suppressed for their ‘controversial’ content; some were destroyed. Pronouncements on the recent French Revolution, on politics, art, religion, sex and the street life of Venice, appear beside tender feelings for the poet’s lover and infant at home in Weimar. The present translation is the first appearance of the complete series as a separate publication in English. Seán Lysaght’s injection of rhyme to the originals and his reprise of their idiomatic manner fuse an apparently insouciant touch with appropriate drive and panache.