Seán Lucy (1931-2001)

WorksQuotationsNotes

Life
b. Bombay; ed. Glenstal Abbey Sch., Murroe, Co. Limerick, and afterwards at UCC; appt. Prof. of Modern English, 1967-88; his students incl. Robert Welch, Colbert Kearney, Seán Dunne, Theo Dorgan, Tom McCarthy, Maurice Riordan, Greg Delanty, Gregory O’Donoghue, et al.; ed., Love Poems of the Irish (1968); ed., Five Irish Poets (1970); ed., Irish Poets in English: The Thomas Davis Lectures (1972); issued Goldsmith: The Gentle Master (1984); issued Unfinished Sequence and Other Poems (1979); sep. from his wife and settled in America where he lectured in Irish literature at the Newberry Library of Loyola College (Chicago) and the Irish-American Heritage Centre. OCIL

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Works
Seán Lucy, ed., Love Poems of the Irish (Cork: Mercier Press 1968), 185pp.; Five Irish Poets (Cork: Mercier Press 1970), 240pp. [incls. also Patrick Galvin, Donal Murphy, Seán Ó Criadain and Lucy].

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Commentary
Colbert Kearney writes: ‘Asked to single out the most characteristic note of Irish poetry, Professor Seán Lucy chose what he termed “dramatic self-awareness”: something which for good or ill contains the power and appetite to see ourselves, and those things and people that catch our imagination, in terms of dynamic, imaginatively-compelling role. (Kearney, ‘Borstal Boy: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Prisoner’, in Ariel: A Review of International English Literature [ed. A. N. Jeffares], 1976; quoting Irish Poets in English [Thomas Davis Lectures on Anglo-Irish Poetry], ed. by Lucy (Cork & Dublin: Mercier Press, 1973, p. 27.) Kearney regards this self-awareness as the mark of Behan.

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Notes
Commemorative Lecture: The Sean Lucy Series, was inaugurated in 2002 by Declan Kiberd (“Seán Lucy and Irish Writing: The Uses of Tradition”, 6 Feb.); Robert Welch (“Meetings with the Famous Dead: Encountering Writing”, 13 Feb.; John A. Murphy (“The Political Ballad in Irish History”, 20 Feb.); Eibhear Walshe (“Elizabeth Bowen and the Fields of North Cork”, 27 Feb.); Clíona Ó Gallchoir (“Maria Edgeworth and Early American Women Writers”, 6 March); Patricia Coughlan (“Alice McDermott’s Charming Billy: Irish America and the Necessary Lie”, 13 March).

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