Peter Fallon


Life
1951- ; b. Germany, moving with family to his uncle’s farm at Kells, in Co. Meath, 1957; br. of B. P. Fallon, disc-jockey; ed. St Gerards School, Bray, and Glenstal Abbey School; left school at 16; commenced Meath Poetry Group with a reading in Navan; studied English Lit. at TCD (BA Hons.), 1968-72; estab. Tara Telephone, poetry workshop [readings], with Eamon Carr [later of Horslips, to which Fallon belonged in earliest days], 1968, publishing contributions to poetry recitals in eight chapbooks under the Tara Telephone imprint - some with cover-designs by Jim Fitzpatrick; with Carr, founded Capella, a poetry quarterly [8 issues]; issued Book of Invasions (1969), an anthology of [largely] unknown poets; organised Tara Telephone poetry readings at College Lane, 51 Parnell Square, Sinnott’s 1970 and TCD Arts. Soc.; organised reading in the Brown Thomas Gallery during the 1970 Dublin Arts Festival; issued A Kind of Trust by Brendan Kennelly as Broadside I, June 1970, being printed at St. Sepulchre’s Press [dir. Mary “Paul” Pollard]; estab. Gallery Books, 6 Feb. 1970, initially publishing from his family home at 10 Oakdown Rd., Rathgar (Dublin), and later at his home in Loughcrew, Oldcastle, Co. Meath; published Pearse Hutchinson’s Watching the Morning Grow (1972), with’Michael Kane’s linocut cover;
 
appt. poet-in-residence, Deerfield Academy, Mass., 1976-77; issued a Phil Lynott collection (Songs for While I’m Away, 1977; 1997, ill. by Fitzpatrick); ed. The Second Voyage (1977); co-ed. The First Ten Years [Dublin Arts Fest. Poetry] (1979); ed., with Sean Golden, Soft Day: Miscellany of Contemporary Irish Writing (1979); also editor of O’Brien Press Irish Classic Fiction series; moved from Dublin to Garden Lodge, Loughcrew [nr. Oldcastle], Co. Meath, 1985 - following the example of the neo-agrarian American poet Wendell Berry, whom he visited in Kentucky; m. Jean [c.1986], with whom children (Adam and Alice); later moved Gallery Press to a another house nr. Oldcastle, 1988; ed. with Derek Mahon, The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (1990); winner of O’Shaughnessy Award of Irish American Cultural Institute, 1993; appt. Writer in Residence at TCD, 1994; Irish Literary Supplement (Boston) makes full-page tribute to Fallon, Fall 1995; Gallery Press becomes the subject of twenty-fifth anniversary celebration at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, 2 July 1995; passed a sabbatical year with his family at Deerfield Academy, Massachusetts, 1996-97, and encountered moose on a visit to friends in Maine, 1997 (“Meeting in Maine”); composed Deerfield series on occasion of the college’s bicentenary; papers of Gallery Press are held at Emory University (Atlanta); first holder of Charles A. Heinbold Chair of Irish Studies at Villanova University, Penn., 2000, where he received an Hon. PhD., to be followed in that post by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill;
 
elected member of Aosdána, 2003; issued acclaimed translation of Georgics of Virgil (2004) - revised for Oxford World Classics (2006); also issued a play, Tarry Flynn (2004), based on Patrick Kavanagh’s novel and produced in Bethlehem, Penn., Sept. 2004; translated the “Georgics” of Virgil (2004) - ‘good management of flocks and herds’; in his capacity as editor of Gallery Press, selected for the Clarissa Luard Award worth £12,500 by Derek Mahon as part of the prize entitlement; present with others at Brian Friel’s 70th birthday celebration, chez the Friel’s, when Seamus Heaney suffered a stroke; gave reading at Southern regional meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies [ACIS], Chattanooga, Tennessee, March 2009; celebrated the 40th year of Gallery with readings, special events and publications at Dublin Book Festival (RTÉ transmission, 5th April 2010); visited Boston University, and gave poetry reading there, 30 March 2009; appt. Burns Visiting Scholar at Boston College, 2012-13; a festchrift, Peter Fallon: Poet, Publisher, Editor and Translator was edited by Richard Rankin Russell (Nov. 2013) issued Strong, My Love (2014), new poems; his literary papers with those of Gallery are part of the Irish Collection at Emory University Library; he takes winter breaks at Ballynahinch Castle. DIL OCIL FDA

Over 400 Gallery Press authors with poetry and drama titles incl. ...
John Banville, Ciaran Carson, Gerald Dawe, Alan Gillis, Vona Groarke, Kerry Hardie, Michael Hartnett, Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Tom Kilroy, Medbh McGuckian, Derek Mahon, John Montague, Paul Muldoon, Eileen Ni Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Conor O’Callaghan, Aidan Rooney, Peter Sirr ...
 

‘On July 2, 99s, The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland’s National Theatre, was filled to celebrate twenty-five years of The Gallery Press, with readings introduced by Seamus Heaney. In her opening address, the President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, enthusiastically declared: “The Gallery Press has spent the last twenty five years contributing towards bringing Irish poets and writers of plays and fiction to a wider world culture. I warmly salute the enormous contribution Peter Fallon has made to the diverse and challenging voices in Ireland.”’

 

 —Irish Studies: Bulletin of Boston College Center for Irish Programs (Fall 2012, Vol. 15, No. 2).


Book launch ...

IRISH ACADEMIC PRESS
 request the pleasure of your company
at a reception to celebrate the launch of

PETER FALLON: Poet, Publisher, Editor and Translator
Editor - Richard Rankin Russell
11/11/2013

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Works
Poetry
  • Among the Walls ([Tara Telephone] 1971);
  • Co-incidence of Flesh [Gallery Books 2] (Dublin: Gallery Press 1973), [2], 28pp.;
  • The First Affair [Gallery Books, No. 19] (Dublin: Gallery Press 1974), 40 [4]pp.;
  • A Gentler Birth (Deerfield, Mass : Deerfield Press 1976), 18pp., ill. [Timothy Engelland];
  • Victims (Deerfield, Mass.: Deerfield Press 1977), 7pp., ill. [Timothy Engelland; ltd. edn. 250 copies, 25 cloth & signed];
  • Finding the Dead (Deerfield, Mass.: Deerfield Press 1978), 17pp., ill. [Timothy Engelland];
  • The Speaking Stones (Dublin: Gallery Press 1978), ill. [Timothy Engelland], 3-58pp.;
  • Winter Work (Dublin: Gallery Press 1983), 48pp.;
  • News and Weather (Dublin: Gallery Press 1987), 48pp.;
  • Eye to Eye (Dublin: Gallery Press 1992), 62pp.;
  • News of the World: New and Selected Poems (Oldcastle: Gallery/Wake UP 1993), 138pp.;
  • Caesarean: A Poem (Easthampton, Mass.: Warwick Press [1995]), [8]pp., col. ill. [Carol Blinn], 16cm. [ltd. edn. 120 copies];
  • Strength of Heart [The Deerfield ser.] (Deerfield, Mass.: Deerfield Press 1997), 1[p.], ill. [for Bicenntenial of Deerfield Academy];
  • A Flowering: A Poem by Peter Fallon ([East Hampton, MA]: Warwick Press 2000), [8]pp. [19 cm.; ltd. edn. 125 copies];
  • In the Shadow of the Man (London: Pen Press Publs. 2001), 38pp.;
  • trans., The Georgics of Virgil (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2004), 127pp. and Do., with an introduction by Elaine Fantham [World Classics Ser.] (Oxford: OUP 2006), xl, 190pp.;
  • The Company of Horses (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2007), 72pp.;
  • Ballynahinch Postcards (Occasional Press, Aghabullogue [Cork] 2007), 53pp. [cover. ill. by Basil Blackshaw].
  • Strong, My Love (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2014), q.pp.

Also, with Eamon Carr, ed., The Book of Invasions (Dublin: Tara Telephone Publs. (q.d.), 1 fold. sh.

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Drama
  • Tarry Flynn (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2004), 102pp.
 
Miscellaneous
  • ed. & intro., The Poems of Emily Lawless [An Chomhairle Ealaion/Irish authors ser.] (Dublin: Dolmen Press 1965), 52pp.;
  • ed., with Sean Golden, Soft Day: A Miscellany of Contemporary Irish Writing (Dublin: Wolfhound 1979), Do. (Notre Dame UP [1980]);
  • ed., Desmond O’Grady, The Headgear of the Tribe: Selected Poems [Gallery Books, 43] (Dublin: Gallery Press 1979), 97pp.;
  • ed., Brendan Kennelly, New and Selected Poems [Gallery Books, 30] (Dublin: Gallery Books 1976), 63pp.;
  • with Dennis O’Driscoll, The First Ten Years: Dublin Arts Festival Poetry (Dublin: Dublin Arts Festival 1979), 62pp., 4 pls., ports.;
  • ed., with Andrew Carpenter, The Writers: A Sense of Ireland (O’Brien Press/NY: George Braziller 1981) [infra];
  • ed., Brendan Behan, After the Wake: twenty-one prose works including previously unpublished material, [Classic Irish fiction ser.] (Dublin: O’Brien 1981), 156pp.;
  • ed. with Derek Mahon, The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry (Penguin 1990);
  • ed. [with Dillon Johnson], John Montague, New Selected Poems (Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe 1990), 79pp.;
  • ed., Laurence Gilson and the Gilson Endowed School, Oldcastle (After Hours Books 1996), 15pp.;
  • ed., Peter Moynagh: A Life (Oldcastle: After Hours Books 1996), 47ppp. [biog. of cancer patient];
  • ed. Michael Hartnett, A Book of Strays [Gallery Books] (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2002), 68pp.;
  • ed., Michael Hartnett, Translations: [A Selection] (Oldcastle: Gallery Books 2003), 127pp.
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Publishing records
  • ‘My Feet on the Ground: An Interview with Peter Fallon by Dillon Johnston’, in Irish Literary Supplement, 14.2 (Fall 1995), pp.4-5;
  • ‘Notes on a History of Publishing Poetry’, in Princeton University Library Chronicle, 59, 3 (Spring 1998), p.558;
  • ‘A Point of Departure’, in Forty:  Dublin Writers Festival Presents The Gallery Press 40th Anniversary Poetry Celebration - The Abbey Theatre, 6 June, 2010 (Loughcrew: Gallery Press 2010) [n.p.]
  • [ed.,] 25 / To celebrate Its First Twenty-five Years / The Gallery Press (Dublin: Fred Hanna Ltd., 1995) [infra].
Journal contributions (selected)
  • ‘A Passion for Poetry: 25 Years of the Gallery Press’ [interview-article], in Books Ireland interview (Feb. 1995), pp.7-8;
  • contrib. [short piece] in Gerald Dawe & Jonathan Williams, eds., Krino, “The State of Poetry” [special issue] (Winter 1993), pp.16-17;
  • ‘Grains of lasting truth and beauty’, review of Moy Sand and Gravel, in The Irish Times (19 Oct. 2002), pp.10-11 [infra];
  • ‘Virgil - from the Georgics’ [translated by Peter Fallon], in Metre (Autumn 2004), pp.9-27 [infra];
  • “A Summer Flood” [poem], in The Irish Times (16 Jan. 2010), Weekend, p.10 [on the death of a daughter by drowning].

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Bibliographical details
Andrew Carpenter & Peter Fallon, eds., The Writers: Sense of Ireland (Dublin: O’Brien Press, 1980) [sub-title:] New work by 44 Irish writers selected and edited by Andrew Carpenter and Peter Fallon, with photographs of the writers by Mike Bunn. CONTENTS, Introduction [8]; John Banville, from Kepler a novel [10]; Samuel Beckett, ‘Heard in the Dark’, an extract from Company a novel [16]; Eavan Boland, ‘the Ballad of Beauty and Time’ [20]; Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Four Poems from The Rose Geranium [24]; ‘Seamus Deane, ‘Christmas at Beaconsfield’, excerpt from a long poem [28]; Paul Durcan, ‘The Drimoleague Blues’ [32]; Peter Fallon, Two Poems, ‘Catholics’, and ‘Confederates’ [34]; Brian Friel, extracts from a Sporadic Diary, most do to with the writing of the play which eventually became Aristocrats [38]; Michael Hartnett, Three poems [with footnote trans.], ‘Fé Dhéinn na dTig Nua’; ‘An Droichead go Meiricéa’; ‘An Chúifhionn’ [44]; Seamus Heaney, Three poems, ‘A Peacock’s Feather’, for Daisy Garnett; ‘Sweeney Astray’, for John Montague; ‘A Lighting Plot’, for Brian Friel [50]; John Hewitt, ‘Five Poems, ‘The Irish Dimenson’; ‘The Prisoners on the Roof’; ‘A Case of Mistaken Identity’; ‘The Magician’, from ‘The Troubles, 1922’; ‘Consequences’, sequence from ‘My Uncle’ [56]; Aidan Higgins, ‘Retrograde Canon at Atepmoc’. from Dog-Days, a novel [60]; Denis Johnston, ‘The Abbey in Those Days’, a memoir [66]; Jennifer Johnston, ‘Extract from a Novel’ [72]; Neil Jordan, ‘She’, an unfinished story [78]; Brendan Kennelly, Three poems, ‘Always’; ‘The Pilgrim’; ‘Goddess’ [82]; Benedict Kiely, ‘Homeward Bound’, part of the opening of a novel to be called, perhaps, Nothing Happens in Carmincross [86]; Thomas Kilroy, from ‘Her Whiteness Attracts a Blackness’, an extract from a novel [92]; Thomas Kinsella, four love poems, literal translations from the Irish (‘My own dark head ...’) [98]; Mary Lavin, from ‘A Walk on the Cliff’, a story [102]; Michael Longley, Four poems, ‘The white Butterfly’; ‘The Third Light’; ‘Ogham Stone’, i.m. Seán Ó Baoill; ‘Communications’ [108]; Thomas McCarthy, ‘Bachelard’s Images’ [112]; Tomas Mac Siomoin, Three poems, ‘Ceol na dTéad’; ‘Féileachán’; ‘Eadartheangachadh’ [114]; Aidan Mathews, Four poems, ‘Untitled’; ‘Talismans’; ‘Affidavit’; ‘Neighbours’ [118]; John Montague, Poems from Sect. III of The Dead Kingdom, ‘The Black Pig’; ‘Border’; ‘The Plain of Blood’ [122]; John Morrow, from Prologue ‘68, a novel [128]; Paul Muldoon, Three poems, ‘The Bishop’; ‘Promises, Promises’; ‘Bran’ [134]; Richard Murphy, Three poems, ‘Morning Call’; ‘Tony white at Inisbofin 1959’; ‘Husbandry’ [138]; Thomas Murphy, Prologue to The Blue Macushla, a play [142]; Seán Ó Faoláin, ‘What it feels like to be a Writer’, a talk for radio [148]; Liam O’Flaherty, ‘The Widow’, an unfinished story [154]; Desmond O’Grady, Three poems, ‘One of Them’, after Cavafy; ‘The People of Maikop Plain’; ‘Waiting for the Barbarian’, after Cavafy [158]; Liam O Muirthile, Three Poems, ‘Inné Inniu’; ‘Rince Gréagach’; ‘Feartlaoi François Villon’ [162]; Frank Ormsby, Three Poems, ‘The Sleepwalker’; from ‘A Belfast Journal (VII); ‘The Security Man’ [167]; Cathal Ó Searcaigh, For Poems, [breif and unnamed] [170]; Seán Ó Tuama, Three Poems (English versions of poems in Irish) ‘Where shall we walk?’; ‘The Poet to his Wife’, from a three act play Four Cheers for Cremation; ‘A Gaeltacht Rousseau’ [172]; Micheal Ó Siadhail, Three poems, ‘Breaclach’; Réavadh’; ‘sorcas’ [176]; Stewart Parker, Two scenes from Catchpenny Twist: A Charade [180]; Tom Paulin, ‘Desertmartin: A poem’ [186]; James Plunkett, ‘Ferris Moore’, from a novel in progress [188]; Peter Sheridan, from Down All the Days, an adaptation of the novel by Christy Brown [190]; James Simmons, ‘The Conservative’ [poem in 5 pts.]; [196]; Francis Stuart, from The High Consistory, a novel [202]; William Trevor, from ‘Autumn Sunshine’, a story [208]; Notes on the writers [213]. Note, pagination of photo-page preceeding each author’s text give above.

“Then Go Beyond the Reach of Road”
Peter Fallon reads from The Company of Horses
Hosted by University Professors Program and the Humanities Foundation of Boston University
Poetry Reading Series on 30 March 2009. - Youtube > online.

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Criticism
  • Richard Rankin Russell, ‘Loss and Recovery in Peter Fallon’s Pastoral Elegies’, in Colby Quarterly (Dec. 2001), p.343-56 [see extract].
  • Colleen McKenna, ‘The Gallery  Press’, in Clare Hutton & Patrick Walsh, eds., The Irish Book in  English, 1891–2000: The  Oxford History  of the  Irish  Book, Vol. V (Oxford:  OUP 2011), pp.592-611.
  • Richard Rankin Russell, ed., Peter Fallon: Poet, Publisher, Editor and Translator (Dublin: IAP 2013), xxvii, 268pp. [see details]
  • See also Books Ireland (Nov. 1994), interview article at 25 years of Gallery Press;
  • Eileen Battersby, ‘The View from Gallery - 25 Years on’, in The Irish Times (7 Feb. 1995), p.10;
  • ‘Poetry in Action’, interview by Louise East in Irish Times (6 June 1998) [with photo-port.] noting Fallon’s essay ‘Notes on a History of publishing Poetry’ in Princeton University Library Chronicle.

Num. reviews of his poetry incl. Bernard O’Donoghue, review of Strong, My Love, in The Irish Times (8 Nov. 2014), Weekend.

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[Peter Fallon, ed.,] 25 / To Celebrate Its First Twenty-five Years / The Gallery Press / in association with the National Theatre Society / presents a poetry reading / The Abbey Theatre, Dublin / 8.00 p.m., Sunday 2 July 1995.

Bibliographical details

Verso: Sponsored by Fred Hanna Ltd., / Bookseller, Nassau St., Dublin 2, 1995), 30pp.

Guest of honour: Mary Robinson, President of Ireland; readings [...] introduced by Seamus Heaney; Special Guest: Christy Moore. [6] Poets Reading: Ciaran Carson; Peter Fallon; Vona Groarke; Michael Hartnett; Medbh McGuckian; Derek Mahon; Paula Meehna; John Montague; Eiléan Ni Chuilleanain; Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. [7] Epigraph: ‘Praise is the supreme poetic act.’ - Archibald MacLeish’.

[Preface:] ‘It began in innocence. When my first poems began to appear in magazines and newspapers in the late ’6os, I encountered a number of young writers for whose work there were few publishers’ welcomes. Although Liam Miller, at the Dolmen Press, ploughed a lonely and heroic furrow, many writers looked to London for their outlet. Without capital, without a fixed polemic, without thinking much about it, I sensed it must be possible to put on the record for a caring readership the poems I believed in. The first Gallery Book appeared on 6 February 1970. / Over the years, those inchoate impulses became a mission. If I have helped to launch and foster the careers of exceptional new writers, to assert and promote the dignity of the profession of writing, to prove that we could produce and publish books as well as anyone and to provide a publishing home for Irish writers whose work had been published by English companies, it will please me. Above all, 1’ve wanted to praise. / So, it began in gladness. How it will end I can’t begin to imagine. Twenty-five years later, I marvel still at the difficult accomplishment that is a good poem or play. If I look back at all, I look in trust that among the books published by The Gallery Press are some of the outstanding literary and human achievements of our time, and I thank and applaud all the writers we’ve published. If I look back, that is ... / Sometimes it all seems like a dream - a dream which continues to come true. Peter Fallon’ (p.5.)

Richard Rankin Russell, ed., Peter Fallon: Poet, Publisher, Editor and Translator (Dublin: IAP 2013), xxvii, 268pp. [contains essays by Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Dennis O’Driscoll, John McAuliffe, Maurice Harmon, Justin Quinn, Thomas Dillon Redshaw [see extract]; Wendell Berry; poems by Richard Wilbur, Medbh McGuckian, Bernard O’Donoghue, Conor O’Callaghan, Michael Coady, Vona Groarke, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Seamus Heaney and Ciaran Carson, et al.]

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Commentary
Dillon Johnston
, ‘“My Feet on the Ground”, An interview with Peter Fallon, in Irish Literary Supplement (Fall 1995), pp.4-5: quotes, ‘If I am going to be remembered for my role at the Gallery Press, I want to be remembered as an editor rather than a publisher’; interview followed by ‘Tributes to Peter Fallon, 25 Years of Gallery Press’, contribs. Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Lar Cassidy, Medbh McGuckian, pat Donlon, Thomas Kilroy, John Banville, Conor O’Callaghan.

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Richard Rankin Russell, ‘Loss and Recovery in Peter Fallon’s Pastoral Elegies’, in Colby Quarterly (Dec. 2001): ‘;Peter Fallon’s pastoral elegies constitute a unique contribution to twentieth-century Irish pastoral poetry in both their expanded subjet matter and in [354] their inversion of many traditional conventions of this genre. Whereas Yeats would idealize the bucolic western counties of Ireland in his early poetry and Kavanagh (in The Great Hunger) and Heaney (in “Death of a Naturalist”) would invert this optimistic view of rural Ireland with their anti-pastorals, Fallon recognizes losses that haunt the Irish countrysides but then reconfigures these sorrows as sites of human and cultural potential. In so doing, he has reappropriated rural Ireland from the stereotypical de Valerian [sic] view that idealized it as the heartland of the country and recast it as a viable, community-oriented alternative to the faster, more dehumanized pace of life in the major cities of the island. The loss of life in the local community - whether animal or even a beloved family member - resonates there in a way not found in today’s urban Irish landscapes. As the atrocities of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland and drug-related murders in Dublin mount, Fallon’s pastoral elegies proclaim the value of all life in a deeply searching manner that refuses to descend into saccharine sentiment.’ (pp.354-55; full text available online - accessed 12.11.2014.)

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Bernard O’Donoghue, review of The Georgics of Virgil, in Times Literary Supplement (10 Dec. 2004): [...] ‘Fallon, the poet-farmer from County Meath, is the perfect translator for the Georgics, as is borne out on every page. But it is not only even primarily as farmer that he is equip for this task. He tells us he considered various other ways of dealing with the poem: in more traditional English poetic forms, or through high-point extracts. But, realizing that no work is all high points, he slowly developed a language to deal with the whole, and has done so with spectacular success. He achieves exemplary precision, as when he describes the testing of soil for richness: “toss it from hand and it won’t crack or crumble, / no, it clings to fingers just like pitch”. This, clarity produces memorable images: in winter, “in running rivers, the water grows a skin of bone” (as in the Anglo-, Saxon riddle) and “clothes harden on your back”. As the horse gallops, “his hooves resound as they eat up the ground and spit it out again”. The translator attains vividness and exuberance by a vernacular freedom, often from the rural Irish: “jizz them up”, “take a running jump”, “a thing of nothing”, “grabbed a hold of him” (Proteus), “a sup of water”, “weak with the hunger”. Put together like this, ,they could sound arch; but as one element in a brilliantly versatile language they seem, entirely right. This language is responsive to the different registers necessary for this extraordinarily various work. There are great, predecessors for this venture, from Dryden to Day Lewis; but Peter Fallon’s version will live, with the best.’ O’Donoghue speaks of Cecil Day Lewis’s earlier translation of 1940, in which according to Fallon he also ‘sang in times of war the arts of peace’ following the killing of Caesar ‘while George W. Bush was rushing to war [...]’; also quotes Fallon: ‘this glorification of peasant life and its responsibilities displays a deeper level of compassion and a broader comprehension of sickness, disease, time’s passing and death.’ [See full in RICORSO Library, Reviews, infra.] (Note that Bernard O’Donoghue also reviews Strong, My Love, in The Irish Times, 8 Nov. 2014, Weekend - available online.)

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Thomas Dillon Redshaw, ‘The Dublin Festival, Dublin, 1970: Capella, The Book of Invasions, and The Original Gallery Books’, in Peter Fallon: Poet, Publisher, Editor and Translator, ed. Richard Rankin Russell (Dublin: IAP 2013): ‘From 1969 through 1972, Peter Fallon and Eamon Carr published eight chapbooks of contemporary Dublin poetry under the imprint of Tara Telephone Publications. At the issue of Pearse Hutchinson’s Watching the Morning Grow (1972), the chapbooks became books published under the now canonical Gallery Press imprint. That beginning commenced under auspices tangential to those some historians of Irish writing and print may allow. It proved also both tellingly distinct, on the one hand, and historically typical, on the other. The ontogeny of the Gallery Press - a name in Irish publishing now to be conjured with - recapitulates some features that mark the origins of prior Irish literary presses dating from, for example, the Salkelds’ Gayfield Press in the 1940s to John Deane’s Dedalus Press in the 1980s. Even so, the appearance of the earliest “Gallery Books” catches a particular moment in Dublin’s cultural history and in Ireland’s literary history - a moment characterised by what Jeff Nuttall then termed “bomb culture”; a moment bounded by the first and second Dublin Arts Festivals of 1970 and 1971; a moment that then was overtaken by the contemporaneous flare-up of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland.’ (p.1.) [Cont.]

Thomas Dillon Redshaw [‘The Dublin Festival, Dublin’, 1970 [cont.]
[...]
Events of the first Dublin Festival were well reported in the Irish Times and other Dublin papers. Like the Belfast Festival begun by Michael Emmerson in 1964, the Dublin Festival originated in the university, in Trinity College, owing to the efforts of Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin. Charles Acton painstakingly critiqued as too casual the management of the first two years of the festival, but he praised the poetry programs for ‘reaching new audiences’ and connecting the universities with the ‘ordinary citizen’.
 These readings Peter Fallon and Eamon Carr arranged at a tangent to the festival’s administration proper. The series ran the week of April 6 1970. Lunch hour readings happened in the Gallery of the department store Brown Thomas then on the east side of Grafton Street. The poets were Des O’Mahony, Eamon Carr, Leland Bardwell. Peter Fallon, Justin O’Mahony, Gerard McCarthy, Donal Sheridan, and two Americans: Eugene Robert Platt and Thomas Tessier. Following the late-night marathon of Liverpool poets at Liberty Hall came the climactic evening reading in Trinity’s Examination Hall featured Brendan Kennelly, Eavan Boland, and Michael Longley.
 Fallon also organized the readings under the flag of Tara Telephone Publications during the second Dublin Arts Festival, in March 1971, featuring Peter Fallon, Gerard Smyth, Hayden Murphy, Patrick Galvin, in Brown Thomas and upstairs at Sinnot’s pub. The climactic reading for the second 1971 festival presented Michael Hartnett, Peter Levi, and Pearse Hutchinson performing translations from Gaelic, Russian, Greek, and Portuguese.
Ibid. p.6.

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Quotations
The Georgics of Virgil (trans., 2004): ‘I have seen long tried and tested crops begin to fail / where no one took the time each year to sort and save / the finest grain, seed by seed. For that’s the way it is - / world forces all things to the bad, to founder and to fall, / just as a paddler in his cot struggling to make headway up a river, / if he lets up a minute, will find himself / rushing headlong back between the banks.’ (Given in Metre, Autumn 2004, p.16.)

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The Fostering

He was lost in the blizzard of himself
and lay, a cold white thing, in a drift
of afterbirth. Another stood to drink dry spins.
I put him with the foster ewe who sniffed

and butted him from his birthright, her milk.
I took the stillborn lamb and cleft
with axe on chopping-block its head
four legs, and worked the skin apart with deft

skill and round strength. I dressed the living lamb
in it. It stumbled with the weight, all pluck,
towards the ewe, who sniffed and smelled and licked
raiment she recognized. Then she gave suck -

and he was Esau’s brother and I Isaac’s wife
working kind betrayals in a field blessed with life.

 

—from News of the World, p.33; quoted in Richard Rankin Russell, ‘Loss and Recovery in Peter Fallon’s Pastoral Elegies’, in Colby Quarterly (Dec. 2001), p.349; also given in Maureen Murphy and James MacKillop, eds., Contemporary Poets in Irish and English [1st Edn. 1987; 2nd Edn.] (Syracuse UP 2006), pp.395.


A Far Cry

Let each step be a prayer
and not escape, even if you’d venture
to the far ends of the earth.
Dare to walk on air.

Chance turning a blind eye
to the present moment
and you might miss your proper life.
Be patient as the mare beneath her fly

mantilla. Be still in tender
times. Along the riverbank
dark birds extend their wings
in versions of surrender

and then, when they take
off, they soar. Heed their sermons.
Heed morning’s constant benedictions,
winds’ histories. Bend, don’t break.

Credit that part of you
that hopes to be haunted
or lies submerged
like the three streams of Loughcrew

whose principles are graven
in your bone. Bear with this
Polonius – and trust the heart.
The heart’s a haven.

You’ll wonder if you’re seeing
things as you awaken
to the need to dream
new maps into being.

Choose quietude. Don’t shy from silence.
World needs be
no more than itself. Imagine.
Abjure the social violence

that has fractured families,
homes and hearts – we let go
the loved one, not the love –
and shattered whole communities.

Say never again to The Wild Irish Rover,
no more to The Minstrel Boy.
Give us back our sons and daughters.
Say that Ireland is over.

— from Strong, My Love (2014), p.68. Posted on Facebook by Peter Quinn - 05.03.2015.


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References
Seamus Deane
, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3: selects from Winter Work, ‘My Care’, ‘Dung’, ‘Winter Work’, ‘The Heart of Ireland’ [1417-18; BIOG, 1436 [as above].

Hibernia Books (Catl. 1996) lists Fallon and Dennis O’Driscoll, eds., The First Ten Years [Dublin Arts Festival 1979], poems by Eacan Boland, Seamus Heaney, Jhn Hewitt, Brendan Kennelly, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, et al.

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Notes
Gallery Press was first established at 19 Oakdown Rd, Dublin 14, and after at Loughcrew [Oldcastle] Co. Meath; also given as Dublin: Gallery Press in some bibliographical contexts.

Écrire l’Europe/Writing Europe (2003), the Franco-Irish Literary festival, Dublin Castle (chaired by Michael Cronin); invited Irish authors incl. Peter Fallon, Evelyn Conlon, Moya Cannon, Colm Tóibín, Keith Ridgeway.

Strong, my love: the literature around Fallon mentions the death of a son straight after birth (‘Who’d be a man who’s twenty-three?’) and the death of a daughter by drowning (“A Summer Flood”).

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