C. L. Dallat

LifeWorksCriticismCommentaryQuotationsReferencesNotes

Life
1953- ; b. Ballycastle, Co. Antrim; son of C. A. Dallat, a Catholic school principal and cross-community cultural activist; ed. QUB, and grad. statistics and operational research; plays musical instruments incl. bandoneon, musette-accordion, mando-fiddle, balalaika, piano, clarinet and soprano-sax; moved to London, 1974; works in television, publishing and information technology; has taught systems analysis in India; estab. Poetry Workshop, 1987; issued poetry collections Morning Star (1998) and The Year of Not Dancing (2009); winner of Strokestown Poetry Competition,2006; contribs. to Saturday Review (BBC Radio 4); reviews for Times Literary Supplement, Guardian and formerly for Magill; has appeared at the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and the Yeats International Summer School (Sligo), 2008; m. Anne-Marie Fyfe, with whom two children.

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Works
Poetry, Morning Star (Belfast: Lagan Press 1998), 88pp.; The Year of Not Dancing (Belfast: Blackstaff 2009), 80pp.

Reviews incl. review of Flotsam and Jetsam by Aidan Higgins, in Times Literary Supplement (21 March 1997), p.25; review of Sad Bastard by Hugo Hamilton in Times Literary Supplement (9 Sept. 1998); review of Irish Short Stories, ed. Steve MacDonogh, in Times Literary Supplement (24 July 1998), p.20; review of Breaking News by Ciaran Carson and Lake Geneva by Gerald Dawe, in The Guardian (Sat. 18 Oct. 2003); review of Speaking Like Magpies by Frank McGuinness, in Times Literary Supplement (9 Dec. 2005), p.18 [infra].

Miscellaneous, with John Kelly & Sean McWilliams, Trio 7 Poetry [Trio Poetry] (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1992), 57pp.; with others, Divers: The Poetry Workshop Anthology (London: Aark Arts 2008), 169pp.,; contrib. to Poetry London, ed. Maurice Scully (Summer 2008)

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Quotations
Love on a Rock”: ‘Who could tell them now out in the world, / its plethorae of arc-lights, halogens, discos / those lighthouse children with listening eyes, / now the last tin cup, plate and fork / are stowed in the last canvas bag under / a fo’c’sle and rowed with their owner / to the supply port, gold watch and severance. [...]’ The poem was winner of the Strokestown International Poetry Competition, 2006. See full version on C. L. Dallat website, online - or copy, attached.]

  “The Year of Not Dancing”
 

Hours passed languid as the flap of a hawk’s wing
in a last July before the awkward initiations
of fifteen and lifts to far-afield jiving.

He’d work for an uncle, cutting hay, fixing
shingles with bradawls and hot, smoking pitch -
evenings, hung round with fairground hands

till the sideshows lit at eight. Then he’d sidestroke
from the main pier, alone, on a full tide as far
as the bobbing Perpetua, its line of cork floats,

with dock and fairground small as a snow-bubble town,
bullhorns carrying Frank Ifield’s When the angels ask
me to recall out across a calm, irredentist blackness.

   
Printed in The Guardian (23 May 2009), The Saturday Poem - “Features & Reviews”, p.20; available at Guardian online - accessed 20.02.2010..

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Reference
See Website at www.cahaldallat.com.

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Notes
C. A. [Cahal] Dallat (1921-2007), school principal, genealogist, local historian and opponent of divisive politics in Norther Ireland; author of The Road to the Glens; co-author of Rooms of Time with Faith Gibson; Director of the John Hewitt International Summer School, 1997-2003; ed. The Glynns: Journal of the Glens of Antrim Historical Society; musician. (Abstract from “Clarification”, a note on the C. L. Dallet website.)

Coffee House: Anne Marie Fyffe, a poet, is the organiser of the well-known Coffee House Poetry gig at the Troubadour at 263267, Old Brompton Rd., [nr. Earl’s Court], London, where Michael (“Mike”) Donaghy also conducts a workshop - betimes with Cahal Dallat with whom he also regularly plays music. Donaghy’s Collected Poems and Collected Prose have been published by Picador.

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