Gerald Dawe


Life
1952- [Gerald Chartres Dawe; fam. “Gerry”]; b. N. Belfast; ed. Orangefield Boys School (‘an extraordinary school’), E. Belfast; worked with Sam McCreadt at Lyric Youth Th.; grad. NUU (Coleraine), BA., 1974; briefly worked at Central Public Library, Belfast; held major state award for research, 1974-77; wrote a thesis on William Carleton under Lorna Reynolds, Galway, MA 1978; lecturer, UCG [1976]; appt. lect. in English and Drama, TCD, 1988; introduced to Padraic Fiacc by Brendan Hamill, 1973; Arts Council Bursary for poetry, 1980; Macauley Fellowship for Literature, 1984; taught at Galway University, 1977-1986; m. Dorothy Melvin; a dg., Olwen, b. 1981; also a son, Iarla; appt. lect in English, TCD, 1988; moved to Dublin, settling in Dun Laoghaire, 1992;
 

poems, Sheltering Places (1978) and The Lundys Letter (1985), winner of Macaulay Prize [Fellowship in Literature]; fnd. ed. Krino; ed. with Edna Longley, Across the Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland (1985) and The Younger Irish Poets (1982, reiss. 1991); criticism includes How’s the Poetry Going? (1991), False Faces (1994), and Against Piety: Essays in Irish Poetry (1995); Director of the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing (TCD); issued The Rest is History (1998), dealing with influence of Belfast culture on Van Morrison and Stewart Parker; issued Lake Geneva (2003), poems; appt. TCD Fellow, 2004; his Collected Criticism was edited by Nicholas Allen in 2007;

 
has taught at Boston College and Villenova Univ.; issued Points West (2008), poems, his seventh collection; issued an anthology of Irish poetry of WWI (Earth Whispering, 2009); presents RTE poetry Programme [Sats.]; directs the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing; gives a talk entitled “From Ginger Man and Borstal Boy to Kitty Stobling: A Breif Look Back at the Fifties”, concluding a public lecture-series on that decade at TCD, March 2011; his wife Dorothea is head of Public Affairs at the Abbey Th., Dublin; contrib. to Irish writers’ comments on election of Donald Trump (Irish Times, 10 Nov. 2016). DIW ORM OCIL FDA

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Works
Poetry
  • Heritages (Breakish: Aquila/Wayzgoose Press 1976), [20]pp. [also signed ltd. edn. of 25];
  • Blood and Moon (Belfast: Lagan Press 1976) [16pp.; pamph.];
  • Sheltering Places (Belfast: Blackstaff 1978);
  • Dead Loss [Poetry Ireland Poems, No. 9] (Portmarnock: Poetry Ireland 1979) [ 1 sht.; igned copy, TCD Library];
  • The Lundys Letter (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 1985), 49pp.;
  • The Water Table (Belfast: Honest Ulsterman 1991), [6], 18pp.;
  • Sunday School (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 1991), 47pp.;
  • Heart of Hearts (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 1995), 47pp.;
  • The Morning Train (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 1999), 51pp.;
  • Lake Geneva (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2003), 56pp.;
  • Points West (Oldcastle: Gallery Press), 56pp.
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Criticism
  • ‘An Absence of Influence, Three Modernist Poets’, in Tradition and Influence in Anglo-Irish Poetry, ed. Terence Brown & Nicholas Grene (London 1989), pp.119-42;
  • How’s the Poetry Going? (Belfast: Lagan Press 1991) [review essays; see extracts];
  • A Real Life Elsewhere (Belfast: Lagan Press 1993) 112pp. [essay];
  • False Faces: Essays on Poetry, Politics and Place (Belfast Lagan Press 1994), 104pp.;
  • Against Piety: Essays on Irish Poetry (Belfast: Lagan Press 1995), 193pp. [12 essays; see contents];
  • The Rest is History (Newry: Abbey Press 1998), 123pp.;
  • Stray Dogs and Dark Horses: Selected Essays on Irish Writing and Criticism (Newry: Abbey Press 2000), 212pp. [incls. essay on Wm. Carleton];
  • The Proper Word: Collected Criticism - Ireland, Poetry, Politics, ed. Nicholas Allen (Creighton UP 2007), 365pp.
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Miscellaneous
  • ed., with Edna Longley, Across the Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland (Belfast: Blackstaff 1985), xviii, 242pp. [see contents];
  • intro., Faces in a Bookshop: Irish Literary Portraits (Galway: Kennys’ Bookshop 1990), 163pp. [marking 50th Anniversary of Kennys];
  • ed., with John Wilson Foster, The Poet’s Place - Ulster Literature and Society: Essays in Honour of John Hewitt, 1907-87 (Belfast: Institute of Irish Studies 1991), xi, 330pp.;
  • ed., Yeats: The Poems (Dublin: Anna Livia 1993), 160pp.;
  • intro., Literature in Ireland: Studies in Irish and Anglo-Irish [1916] by Thomas MacDonagh (Nenagh, Co. Tipperary: Relay Books 1996) [with profile by Nancy Murphy], xiv, 209pp.
 
Edited anthologies
  • ed., The Younger Irish Poets (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1982), and Do. [reiss. as] The New Younger Irish Poets (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1991), xv, 176pp. [see contents];
  • ed., Catching the Light: Views and Interviews (Moher: Salmon Press 2008), 184pp.
  • ed., with Jonathan Williams, Krino 1986-1996: An Anthology of Irish Writing (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1996), 435pp. [incl. 80 writers; critical essays by Susan Schriebman, Hugh Haughton; J. C. C. Mays; Eavan Boland; Nuala Ni Dhomnaill; Terence Brown; Henry Gifford; Eoin Bourke also stories by John McGahern; Peter Hollywood];
  • ed., with Michael Mulreany, The Ogham Stone: An Anthology of Contemporary Ireland (Dublin: IPA 2001), x, 230pp., ill., ports.;
  • ed., Earth Voices Whispering: An Anthology of Irish War Poetry (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2009), xx, 412pp. [incls. as Postscript Samuel Beckett’s “Capital of the Ruins” - see contents]
  • ed., Conversations: Poets & Poetry (q. pub. 2011).
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Contributions
  • ‘Checkpoints: The Younger Irish Poets’, in Crane Bag, 6, 1 (1983), pp.85-89;
  • ‘Where Literature Ends and Politics Begins’, in The Linen Hall Review, 5, 3 (1988), cp.26;
  • ‘Brief Confrontations: Convention as Conservatism in Modern Irish Poetry’, in Crane Bag, 7, 2 (1983), pp.143-47;
  • ‘A Question of Imagination: Poetry in Ireland Today’, in Cultural Contexts and Literary Idioms in Contemporary Irish Literature, ed. Michael Keneally (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1988) [see extract];
  • ‘Living in Our Time’ [review], in Linen Hall Review (Summer 1990), pp.42-3;
  • “Three Poems” [‘Herald’; ‘Heart of Hearts’; ‘Couplet’] in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 17, 2 (Dec. 1991), p.103;
  • interview with W. J. McCormack/Hugh Maxton, Linenhall Review (Spring 1994), pp.14-16;
  • ‘Visiting Chartres’, in Fortnight (Nov. 1994), 32-33 [taking issue with Ronan Bennett’s ‘An Irish Answer’ in the Guardian, Mary Holland, and others, ‘a key feature of Protestantism is precisely its intense individualism and reluctance to nominate itself, or to be exploited, as representative’];
  • ‘Parts of Speech’, in Fortnight Review (May 1995), p.38 [an account of his experience and views of the Irish language and politics relating to same];
  • ‘Praising the Poet’, in Fortnight Review, 344 (Nov. 1995), p.22-23 [see extract];
  • ‘Civil Codes’ in Fortnight Review (March 1996), pp.26-27) [with cheerful phot. ill.; writing on Ireland and Czechoslovakia];
  • ‘Finding the Language: Poetry, Belfast, and the Past’, New Hibernia Review, 1, 1 (Spring 1997), pp.9-18;
  • ‘Small is Beautiful’, in Fortnight (July-Aug. 1997), p.26 [see extract];
  • ‘Bring it all back home’, in Fortnight (Jan. 1999) [review of Michael Longley, Selected Poems and Broken Dishes; Denis Sampson, The Chamelion Novelist: Brian Moore];
  • “Raccoons” [a poem], in The Irish Times (10 May 2003), Weekend, p.10;
  • “Midsummer Report” and “The Interface” [two poems], in Fortnight (April 2003), p.31 [see extract]; ‘Francis Ledwidge: A Man of His Time’, in The Irish Times (31 July 2004), p.11 [extract from a lecture given at Slane, Sunday 25th July 2004; see under Ledwidge, infra];
  • Foreword to Facing White: A Collection of New Writing from the Oscar Wilde Centre M Phil in Creative Writing [TCD] (Lemon Soap Press 2007).
  • [...]
  • Review of The Red Sweet Wine of Youth, by Nicholas Murray [on British Poets of WWI], in The Irish Times (12 March 2011) [Weekend Review].
  • Review of Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas, by Matthew Hollis, in The Irish Times (13 Aug. 2011), Weekend Review, p.10.
 

See also Graph, No. 1 (Sept. 1995), & No. 2 (March 1996). Also extensive contribs. to The Honest Ulsterman, issues 57-97 (see Tom Clyde, ed., Honest Ulsterman, Author Index, 1995).

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Bibliographical details
Across the Roaring Hill: The Protestant Imagination in Modern Ireland: Essays in Honour of John Hewitt, ed. Gerald Dawe & Edna Longley (Belfast: Blackstaff 1985), xviii, 242pp.; contains essays, James Simmons, ‘The Recipe for All Misfortunes, Courage’ [on Joyce Cary, S. H. Bell, Forrest Reid], pp.79-98; Michael Allen, ‘Notes on Sex in Beckett’, pp.25-38; W. J. McCormack, ‘The Protestant Strain: A Short History of Anglo-Irish Literature from S. T. Coleridge to Thomas Mann, pp.48-78; Edna Longley, ‘Louis MacNeice, The Walls are Flowing’, pp.99-123; Bridget O’Toole, ‘Three Writers and the Big House, Elizabeth Bowen,Molly Keane, Jennifer Johnston’, pp.124-38; J. W. Foster, ‘The Dissidence of Dissent, John Hewitt and W. R. Rodgers’, pp.161-81; Terence Brown, ‘Poets and Patrimony, Richard Murphy and James Simmons’, pp.182-95; Lynda Henderson, ‘Transcendance and Imagination in Contemoporary Ulster Drama, pp.196-217; Dawe, ‘Icon and Lares, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley’, pp.196-217. The title of the collection derives from a poem by John Hewitt (‘across the roaring hill ... our indigenous Irish din’). [See Table of Contents in RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Editions”, infra.]

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Against Piety: Essays in Irish Poetry (Belfast: Lagan Press 1995), 193pp.; Brief Confrontations: The Irish Writer’s History [19]; A Question of Imagination: Poetry in Ireland [31]; An Absence of Influence: Three Modernist Poets [45]; Heroic Heart: Charles Donnelly [65]; Anatomist of Melancholia: Louis MacNeice [81]; Against Piety: John Hewitt [89]; Our Secret Being: Padraic Fiacc [105]; Blood and Farnily: Thomas Kinsella [113]; Invocation of Powers:John Montague [127]; Breathing Spaces: Brendan Kennelly [145]; Icon and Larcs: Michael Longley and Derek Mahon [153]; The Suburban Night: Eavan Boland, Paul Durcan and Thomas McCarthy [169].

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The New Younger Irish Poets, ed. Gerald Dawe (Belfast: Blackstaff 1982; rev. edn. 1991); contains poems by Thomas McCarthy; Denis O’Driscoll; Julie O’Callaghan; Rita Ann Higgins; Sebastian Barry; Aidan Carl Matthews; Sean Dunne; Mairead Byrne; Michael O’Loughlin; Brendan Cleary; Dermot Bolger; Peter Sirr; Andrew Elliott; John Hughes; Peter McDonald; Patrick Ramsay; Pat Boran; Kevin Smith; Martin Mooney; John Kelly; Sara Berkeley; also biographical and bibliographical notes; select bibliography; poetry publishers; acknowledgements; index of first lines. [Ulster poets are Martin Mooney; Peter McDonald; John Kelly; John Hughes; Andrew Elliot; Brendan Cleary.]

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Earth Voices Whispering: An Anthology of Irish War Poetry 1914-1945 (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2008) - contribs. Katherine Tynan, Stephen Gwynn, W. B. Yeats, AE, Eva Gore-Booth, Lord Dunsany, Thomas McDonagh, William Orpen, Padraic Pearse, Mary Davenport O’Neill, Thomas Kettle, Blanaid Salkeld, Winifred M. Letts, Arnold Bax, D. L. Kelleher, Thomas Carnduff, Joseph Mary Plunkett, Francis Ledwidge, Patrick McGill, Thomas MacGreevy, Austin Clarke, Monk Gibbon, C. S. Lewis, Eileen Shanahan, Jimmy Kennedy, Patrick McDonagh, Franics Stuart, Ewart Milne, George Buchanan, C. Day Lewis, Patrick Kavanagh, Padraic Fallon, Brian Coffey, Samuel Beckett, Sheila Wingfield, Freda Laughton, Louis McNeice, Ruddick Millar, George Reavey, John Hewitt, Denis Devlin, Liam MacGabhann, W. R. Rodgers, Bryan McMahon, Sean Jennett, Leslie Daiken, Donagh McDonagh, Charles Donnelly, Thomas O’Brien, George Hetherington, George M. Brady, Valentin Iremonger, L. J. Fennessy, Maurice J. Craig, Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, Robert Greacen, Roy McFadden, Bruce Williamson, Padraic Fiacc, Patrick Galvin, Pearse Hutchinson, Richard Murphy, Anthony Cronin, Thomas Kinsella, John Montague, James Simmons, Brendan Kennelly, Michael Longley, Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, Derek Mahon, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Eavan Boland, Paul Durcan, Anthony Glavin, Van Morrison.
For full contents, see Index - as attached.

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Criticism

An Sionnach, 3, 1 [Special Issue Dedicated to the Work of Gerald Dawe] ed. David Gardiner, asst. by Nicholas Allen (Creighton UP 2007), 201pp. (See review by Bernard O’Donoghue, in The Irish Times, 4 Aug. 2007, Weekend - via index or as attached.)

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Commentary
Brian Lynch, reviewing Against Piety, Essays in Irish Poetry (Lagan 1995), in The Irish Times (20 Jan. 1996) [Weekend], offers some reproofs and quotes: ‘we have a naturally poetic language, because of the once central influence of the Irish language upon English as it is spoken in country outside Dublin’; further [?remarks:] ‘Poetry in Ireland is mostly an accepted form of the tradition, and most poets voice ideas and beliefs totally at one with official cultural orthodoxies.’ (p.8.)

Peter Denman, review of The Ledger of Fruitful Exchange (1996 [sic]), with Heart of Hearts (1995); cites lines taken from newpaper notice of death of Dawe’s great-grandmother, in which notice is given that a daughter contributes poetry to the Impartial Observer, causing Denman to comment that ‘[I]mpartial reporting might describe the mode to which Dawe’s own poetry seems to aspire.’ (Irish Literary Supplement, p.10.)

C. L. Dallat, review of Breaking News by Ciaran Carson and Lake Geneva by Gerald Dawe, in The Guardian (Sat. 18 Oct. 2003).: ‘[...] Dawe’s work has long carried marks of his personal journey: a first Gallery collection, The Lundys Letter (1985), borrowed the Ulster Protestant shorthand for traitor (the annual burning-in-effigy of Robert Lundy, faint-heart commander at Derry’s 1689 siege, is a cherished Ulster folk custom). And his next collection’s title, Sunday School (1991), harks back to pre-lapsarian Belfast infancy and adolescence. / That mis-match between early ordinariness and later sophistication has fuelled much recent writing, but Dawe’s own transitions give the dichotomy specific resonance. In his quietly measured tourist stroll around the title - and final - poem’s Lake Geneva with Henry James’s muslined “all-American girl”, with “formidable chateaux” and the “clip-clop” of horses, the poet stumbles on a remembered homicide scene from 70s Belfast, all dereliction and armored constabulary. The recall is given sharper focus by the lakeshore ghosts of storm-tossed Byron and Shelley and the historical long view of Edward Gibbon. The “terraces trim / as they’ve always been” could be either Geneva or Belfast in this context, both politely oblivious to murderous back alleyways. [...]’ (For full review, see infra.)

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Quotations
Midsummer Report”: ‘The smokeless chimney sprouts scutch grass / and the entry has bits and pieces of furniture/ at one end or the other - the inside of a ’fridge, / a couch oil its side, hedge clippings. // Here and there a light goes on or off / in a landing, a back room’s / the same unchanging view of cars / parked higgledy-piggledy oil the footpath. // Between the trees, the houses / become dusky outlines - / the bricked up fireplace, the bedside locker, / the converted attic, the rooms for let. // Walking after midnight, watch your step. / Things have changed around here, no mistake.’ (Fortnight, April 2003, p.31: two poems.)

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The Interface”: ‘“The lights are going on on towns that no longer exists” / and in the districts we never knew we lived in / between the cemetery where turncoat rebels asre said to be buried and the narrow road north. // In the parlours of the very few few who stayed put / the Telegraph’s folded, the curtains order / and the radio putters in the background. / Good news is rarely expected. // The kids are well grown and gone / to Scotland, Canada, the West Country, / and for all the time they spent together / little remains the same: // £ Shops and discount bars and fast food joints / and even the church is up for sale. / See. What did I tell you? It is the case / that the biggest fall is the fall from grace.’ (Fortnight, April 2003, p.31: two poems.)

The Pleasure Boats”: ‘Already, they’re taking full / advantage of the day - / ponytailed mums keeping trim, the recently retired who sold the old place for a tidy sum, and the staunch widows who marvel at all the changes / and at what hasn’t changed: / the tops of masts and, above them, the solid phalanx of guest houses, facing the sea that rushes / in to the marina’s red light, / where boy-racers will be parked tonight under a fleeting metallic sky, / and the dog-walkers out late, / and the girls, defiant, in ones and twos, / and the pleasure boats returning, and the rank of windows on fire. So, tell me, what good was done, What war was won?’ (Quoted in Hugh McFadden, review of Points West, in Books Ireland, Nov. 2008, p.254.)

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How’s The Poetry Going? (1991): ‘The poet deals with freedom ... anti-nostalgic’; quotes William Carlos Williams, ‘It is difficult / to get the news from poems / Yet men die miserably every day/ for lack / of what is found there.’ Remarks [on] Home Life: ‘both scenes play across each other - the helterskelter of impressions; the mannered poise; the fragments and figments of history; the cultivated grace; the nationalist west; the unionist north-east - each entailing its own hurt and insecurities, pride and prejudice, and how these are expressed differently.’ [9] ‘When I muttered something about coming from a Protestant background in Belfast and living in the west of Ireland, a professional smile glazed over what remained of their time. Critical comment on that background, indeed, on any sense of alternative influences, argument or liteary ideals, went out the window pronto. May as well be taking about green blackbirds.’ On Dillon Johnston, Irish Poetry After Joyce: ‘almost ontological fault in reading poetry when a critic sees poets ‘individualising their traditions’; ‘blurs the creative brilliant distinction between life and art [..] the nature of the Irish literary community [...] a code-sign under which, all too often, the poet gives what is expected to the discipline of art, that essential gesture, becomes seconadary to the business of being a poet. [...] There is often a marked disdain for and patronising of “The People” [...] together with an exploitation of their historical condition.’ [29]. ‘There is a distinct unease when poetry is taken, not frivously, solemnly, or with morbid introspection, but seriously, like any other art form. Nothing more, nothing less. [...] What would Cavafy, Larkin, or Montale, [...] make of this little world of ours, at the edge of Europe, providing for export a lost childhood of post-colonial fantasies, while harbouring ambiguously the deep-rooted allurement of violence and the squalid resentments of sectarianism dressed up as politics?’ [34]. Responds to W. J. McCormack’s attack in The Battle of the Books (1986) upon Across the Roaring Hill (1985): ‘W. J. McCormack’s accusation is in a way true, because Ireland, the place we live in, is a sectarian place and we are all sucked into its perversity from childhood. There is no use pretending that we can stand above it all in some kind of pristine, theoretically immaculate and admirable order, disdainful of the sick world with which the poor misfortunates must cope as best they can. The imagination, literary or non-verbal, dries up in such thin air and as for the critical intelligence, it thrives on reality too, not the ideal. It is only when critics, as now, start to pore over the various cultural ideals on offer that the complex difficulties in relating “art” to its society becomes mined with political intentions and transcendental requirements.’ [Cont.]

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How’s The Poetry Going? (1991) - cont.: Speaks of ‘the ideological smoke of The Battle of the Books’ and remarks: ‘The central task of the critic has got lost in recent years. [...] The theoretical control induced by “crisis-mongering” can never really be accomplished because things change and life cannot be ordered to suit one plan or another. The effort to impose an intellectual order on history is the result of intellectuals not having felt sufficiently powerful in this country as a socially-acknoweledged and politically influential group [...] Those who really control power in Ireland - the industrial bosses, the political overlords and the paramilitaries - must smile at all this shadowboxing.’ [q.p.] On Regionalism: ‘Where the poet fits in, more than likely, is just to make poems and let them speak for themselves - the principal loyalty which has everything to do with his or her own private sense of a place and its people.’ [87]. On Martin Dillon’s Shankill Butchers: ‘a fearsome book [...] N. Ireland, a moral and psychic landscape traversed by men and women dedicated to violence [...] We live in a society which has methodically refused, institutionally, culturally and politically, to own up to lassitude and acceptance of violence as a means of effecting change.’ Further, ‘In some way that I have not been able to define, the lives of these ten men were surrounded by a kind of estranged ether, an emotional and intellectual current no longer earthed to the core realities of Ireland as it is today. [...] their double life as bombers and murderers and as freedom-fighters and Irish soldiers [defeats me]. [...] victims of language [...] a myth that nationalism sows in the heart.’ [“Beasts and Devils”]. On Louis MacNeice: ‘Tact and fidelity’. On Seamus Heaney’s Government of the Tongue: ‘the individualistic intensity of Heaney [...] comportment and balance, the moderate voice. [...] what shines through is a love of literature, of the Word and of being in the world. His presence is wholly affirmative.’ On Denis Donoghue: ‘a touch of disingenuousness in the title’ [viz., We Irish]. On Richard Murphy: ‘the myth of the Irish poet intercedes, bolstered very often by archaic ideas and misconceptions about the country as a whole’ [69]. See also remarks on Edna Longley [infra].

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On Belfast: ‘Belfast with its Lough, hills an surrounding countryside remains rich in possibility. One need only think of the cultural mix upon which the city is built to identify that human potential.’ (‘The revenges of the Heart: Bealfast and the Poetics of Space’, in Nicholas Allen & Aaron Kelly, eds., The Cities of Belfast, Fourt Courts Press 2003, p.210; quoted in Elaine Kelly, UG Diss., 2006.) Further, ‘What remains of Belfast’s industrial architecture has a strange marooned look to it. Similarly, the redbrick Gothic of insurance houses and banks, stores and churches, hotels and theatres which was once the city’s Victorian legacy has all but vanished [...] What has taken over, inside out as it were, is the shopping mall, the steel-framed Centre and the masked façade. These changes belie another truth, however, of the profound sectarian violence which took possession of the city from the late 1960s.’ (‘The Rest is History’, in Patricia Craig, ed., The Belfast Anthology, Blackstaff Press, p.426; quoted in Elaine Kelly, op. cit.)

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A Question of Imagination: Poetry in Ireland Today’, in Michael Keneally, ed., Cultural Contexts and literary Idioms in Contemporary Irish Literature, ed. Colin Smythe 1988): ‘History is a terrible home for all Irish poets’; ‘We have a naturally poetic langauge because of the once central influence of the Irish language upon English … whatever benefits a poet can make out of this rich linguistic resource, they wil not amount to much unless the poet possesses the necessarily imaginative rigour to use it effectively.’ (p.187; cited Anne Baxter, UUC 1999.)

Thomas MacDonagh: ‘to discover in Thomas MacDonagh’s Literature in Ireland [1916] a comprehensive, committed voice, calmly stating his position on the relationship between literature and history, was a revelation ... [his] own short life adds poignancy to the writing such as one feels in regard to, say, the death of Wilfred Owen.’ (Introduction to Thomas MacDonagh, Literature in Ireland: Studies in Irish and Anglo-Irish, Relay 1996, 223pp.; extract in Causeway, Autumn 1996, pp.59-60; p.59.)

Seamus Heaney: ‘[...] When Seamus Heaney, a richly-nuanced and confident voice from the last dominion, won prominence inside the pale, his work would be read as representing Ireland, as being Ireland [...] Whatever unease he may or may not feel about this Ireland we live in does not surface in his poetry. There is an acceptance of this place as it is which ranges from the stoical to the faithful [...] Heaney’s poetry can be read as a harbinger of the postmodernist future as well as keeper of the traditional virtues.’ (‘Praising the Poet’, in Fortnight Review 344, Nov. 1995, p.22-23.)

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Smaller Journals: reflecting on Lionel Trilling’s essay ‘The Function of the Little Magazine’ in which the critic contemplates the relationship between literary excellence and political power (in The Partisan Review; rep. in The Liberal Imagination), Dawe remarks on the dearth of reviewing space given his own recent Krino anthology, noting the impact of trend-spotting publishers who pre-empt the experimental role of the magazine, and its dependence on the local nexus of subscribers; further laments that the days of the smaller journal is probably numbered. (‘Small is Beautiful’, in Fortnight, July-Aug. 1997, p.26.)

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References
Books in Print (1994): Sheltering Places (Belfast: Blackstaff 1978) [0 85640 138 2]; The Lundys Letter (Dublin: Gallery Press 1985, 1993) 0 40411 85 2; var. 063 6]; Sunday School (Dublin: Gallery Press 1991) [1 85235 064 4]; The Water Table (Belfast: Ulsterman Publications 1991); How’s the Poetry Going?, Literature and Politics in Ireland Today (Lagan Press 1991) [1 873687 00 1]; with J W Foster, The Poet’s Place, Ulster Literature and Society, Essays in Honour of John Hewitt 1907-1987 (QUB: Irish Studies Inst. 1991) [0 85 389 408 6]; also Gerald Dawe intro, Faces in a Bookshop, Irish literary portraits (Galway: Kennys 1990), 163pp [0-906312 38 X]

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