Paul Muldoon: Life


Life
1951- [occas. in Irish as Pól Ó Maoldúin]; b. 20 June 1951, in Portadown, and raised at Eglish, Co. Armagh, in a pious Catholic family; son of a mushroom horticulturist and a teacher (née Brigid Regan), of different class backgrounds; moved to Collegelands, near The Moy, Co. Tyrone; educ. St Patrick’s College, Armagh, and QUB; won Eric Gregory Award, 1972; joint winner of Geoffrey Memorial Prize in 1982; BBC (NI) radio producer for 13 yrs.; resigned from BBC in 1986 and lived for a time in Kerry Gaeltacht;
 
appt. resident writer at Cambridge University, 1987; and later at Columbia; holds chair of Creative Writing Program, at Princeton Univ.; winner of Gregory Award, 1972; issued New Weather (1973), a first collection, in which the title phrase falls in the poem “Wind and Tree” ‘Yet by my broken bones / I tell new weather’; read with Michael Longley at Kilkenny Arts Festival, 1974; issued Mules (1977); issued Why Brownlee Left (1980), and Quoof (1983) - his last book before leaving Ireland, and winner of Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, 1982, containing “The More a Man has the More a Man Wants”, influenced by Bobby Sands’ death, 1981;
 
edited Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Verse (1986), limited to ten poets of whom six were Northern Irish, prefaced in lieu of introduction by the Higgins/McNeice discussion on Irish poetry (BBC 1939), and widely perceived to have an undue Northern bias by other Irish writers, leading to another anthology issued by Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon; further poetry collections incl. Meeting the British (1987), containing “7, Middagh St.”, the celebration of a short-lived New York bohemian commune, written with W. H. Auden, Britten, MacNeice, Kallman, and Dali in mind;
 
issued Madoc: A Mystery (1990), based on a Pantisocratic community and structured around names of philosophers from Thales to Hawking, and notably the characters Southey and Coleridge standing for Heaney and Muldoon in America, and taking the form of a postmodernism trip to the village of ‘Ulster’ in Pennsyvlania; issued Shining Brow (1993), a libretto for the two-act opera by Daron Hagen concerning Frank Lloyd Wright, aka “Taliesen” [Welsh for ‘Shining Brow’ and name of ancient bard];
 
m. Jean Korelitz, with whom a dg., Dorothy [b.1994]; issued The Annals of Chile (1994), winner of T. S. Eliot Prize, containing “Incantata”, his elegy for former lover the artist Mary Farl Power; Six Honest Serving Men (1995), a play of six short scenes commissioned and produced in Princeton, New Jersey; there is a film by Douglas Carson [c.1975]; resident in Hopewell, New Jersey and later in California; travelled to in Australia, 1996; papers held at Emory University (Atlanta); Clarendon Lectures, Oxford, Oct. 1998;
 
new collection, Hay (1998); elected to Oxford Chair of Poetry, May 1999; issued To Ireland, I (2000), a discursive romp through Irish literary connections, given as the Clarendon Lectures; issued Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), new poems and winner of Pulitizer Prize for Poetry for 2003; issued Horse Latitudes (2006) and General Admission (2006), new poems; contrib. a poem, “Tara of the Kings”, to the Save Tara campaign, 2007; wrote commissioned poem on the occasion of the presentation of the Cunningham Medal to Seamus Heaney, Feb. 2008;
 
contrib. “A Grand Tour”, commissioned poem on occasion of Seamus Heaney’s receiving the Cunningham Medal of the RIA (Jan. 2008); publ. When the Pie was Opened, (Sylph Edn.) 20 May 2008; issued Maggot (2010); appt. writer-in-residence at University of Ulster, Coleraine, Autumn 2010; read again with Muldoon, Kilkenny Arts Festival, 13 Aug. 2011; issued rock-songs as The Word in the Street - though omitting “My Ride’s Here”, the title-track to his 2002 album with Warren Zevon which was later covered by Bruce Springsteen' read at opening of Heaney exhibition at Emory University, 22 Feb. 2014. DIL DIW FDA G20 HAM ORM OCIL

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“A Poetry Reading by Paul Muldoon” at the University of Ulster, 7 Nov. 2011.

Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in Co. Armagh and educated in Armagh and at the Queen’s University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark 21 Professor at Princeton University and Chair of the Peter B. Lewis Center for the Arts. In 2007 he was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College.

Paul Muldoon’s main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006), and Maggot (2010).

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as “the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War”. Paul Muldoon is a Visiting Professor at the University of Ulster.

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Works
Poetry collections
  • Knowing My Place (Portrush: Honest Ulsterman 1971) [pamphlet];
  • New Weather (London: Faber & Faber 1973), 56pp. [ded. ‘for my Fathers and Mothers’]. and Do. [rep.] (London: Faber & Faber 1994);
  • Spirit of Dawn (Belfast: Honest Ulsterman [1975], pamphlet;
  • with James Simmons, Out of the Blue: A Selection of Poems and Songs (Belfast: NI Arts Council 1974);
  • Mules (London: Faber; Winston Salem: Wake Forest UP 1977), 59pp. [‘for Anne-Marie’];
  • Names and Addresses (Belfast: Ulsterman 1978);
  • Immram (Dublin: Peter Fallon & Andrew Carpenter 1980) [ltd. edn. of 174 copies];
  • Single Ladies: Sixteen Poems (Devon: Interm 1980);
  • Why Browlee Left (London: Faber & Faber; Winston Salem: Wake Forest UP 1980) [incl. “Immram”];
  • The O-O’s Party: New Year’s Eve (Oldcastle: Gallery 1981);
  • Quoof (London: Faber; Winston Salem: Wake Forest UP 1983) [incls. “The More a Man has the More a Man Wants”];
  • The Wishbone (Oldcastle: Gallery 1984) [pamphlet];
  • Mules and Early Poems (Winston Salem: Wake Forest UP 1985);
  • Selected Poems 1968-1983 (London: Faber & Faber 1986; NY: Ecco 1987;), and Do. [rep. ed.] (NY: Noonday 1993);
  • Meeting the British (London: Faber & Faber 1987);
  • Madoc: A Mystery (London: Faber & Faber 1990; NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux 1991), 261pp. [ded. “for Jean”; based on Southey’s “Madoc”, 1815];
  • Walking a Line (London: Faber & Faber 1994);
  • The Prince of the Quotidian (Oldcastle: Gallery; Winston-Salem: Forest UP 1994), 41pp.;
  • The Annals of Chile (London: Faber & Faber 1994), 191pp. [incl. “The Sonogram”];
  • Ambient Starlight (Oldcastle: Gallery 1995), 48pp.;
  • The Last Thesaurus (London: Faber & Faber 1995) [for children];
  • New Selected Poems 1968-1994 (London: Faber & Faber 1996), 183pp. [500 hb. copies];
  • The Noctuary of Narcissus Batt (London: Faber & Faber 1997);
  • Hay (Faber & Faber 1998), 140pp.;
  • Poems 1968-1998 (London: Faber & Faber 2001), 490pp.;
  • Moy Sand and Gravel (London: Faber & Faber 2002), 90pp.;
  • Horse Latitudes (London: Faber & Faber 2006), 112pp.;
  • General Admission (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2006), 104pp. [incl. “My Ride’s Here”, with Warren Zevon];
  • When the Pie was Opened [The Cahiers Ser.] (USA: Sylph Editions 2008), 44pp. ;
  • Wayside Shrines (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2009), 44pp., ill. [by Keith Wilson; ltd signed edn of 400; 350 for sale];
  • Maggot (London: Faber & Faber 2010), 120pp.
  • The Word in the Street (London: Faber & Faber 2013). qpp.
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Translations
  • trans. two poems by Michael Davitt, in Ireland and the Arts, ed. T. P. Coogan [Special Issue of Literary Review] (London: Namara Press 1984), pp.161-63;
  • trans. The Astrakhan Coatby Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, [bilingual edn.] (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 1991; rep. 1992), and Do. [ another edn.] (Winston-Salem, NC: Forest UP 1993);
  • trans. The Fifty Minute Mermaid, by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 20007), 166pp. [bilingual edn.].
 
Anthologies
  • ed. The Scrake of Dawn: Poems by Young People from Northern Ireland (Belfast: Blackstaff/NI Arts Council 1979);
  • ed. Faber Book of Contemporary Irish Verse (London: Faber & Faber 1986);
  • ed. The Essential Byron (NY: Ecco Press 1989);
  • ed., Faber Book of Beasts (London: Faber & Faber 1997), 295pp.
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Drama (librettos)
  • Shining Brow: An Opera in Two Acts (London: Faber; Boston ECS 1993), 86pp. [for Daon Hagen];
  • Six Honest Serving Men (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 1995) [commissioned & produced in Princeton];
  • Vera of Las Vegas (Oldcastle: Gallery Press 2001), 53pp.
 
Criticism
  • ‘Paul Muldoon Writes …’, in Poetry Book Society Bulletin, 118 (Autumn 1982), cp.2;
  • To Ireland, I (Oxford: Clarendon Press 2000), 213pp.;
  • Paul Muldoon, The End of the Poem (London: Faber & Faber 2006), 432pp.
 
Audio-recordings
  • Paul Muldoon & Ted Hughes [Faber Poetry Cassette] (London: Faber & Faber 1982);
  • with Czeslaw Milosz, Czeslaw Milosz and Paul Muldoon Reading Their Poems (Washington DC: Library of Congress 1991).
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Contributions to The Honest Ulsterman

‘Flock of Robins’, in HU (June 1972); ‘Glass Boat’, in HU (Sept. 1972); ‘Names and Addresses’, in HU (1978); ‘Aisling’, in HU (Dec. 1981); ‘Main-mast’ in HU (May 1984) [Selected].

 
Sundry contribs.
  • “Five Poems” [‘Bears’; ‘Tibet’; ‘Toxophius’; ‘Pandas’, and ‘Wolves’], in Times Literary Supplement (10 Feb. 1984), p.137;
  • “Paul Klee, They’re Biting”, in P. Adams, ed., With a Poet’s Eye: A Tate Gallery Anthology (Tate Gallery Publs. 1986) [commissioned poem, later incl. in “Meeting the British”]
  • translations from the Romanian of Marin Sore[s]cu, with Ted Hughes, in Irish Review, 1 (1986), pp.76-80;
  • ‘A Mobile’ [poem] , in Times Literary Supplement (8 Jan. 1993) [q.p];
  • “The Hug” [‘i.m. Joseph Brodsky’], in Times Literary Supplement (9 Feb. 1996), p.31.
  • “News Headlines from the Homer Noble Farm”, in Last Before America : Irish and American Writing: Essays in Honour of Michael Allen, ed. Fran Brearton & Eamonn Hughes (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2001), pp.80-83.
 

Translations include in Gregory A. Schirmer, ed., After the Irish: An Anthology of Poetic Translation (Cork UP 2009).

See also Muldoon’s review of Seamus Heaney’s Station Island in London Review of Books (1-4 Nov. 1984), quoted under Heaney, Commentary, infra.] - and Muldoon’s poem “A Grand Tour”, commissioned at the presentation of the Cunningham Gold Medal of the RIA to Heaney on 28 Jan. 2008 [viz., Articulations [... &c.] - as supra].

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Criticism
  • Michael Allen, ‘Horse People and Others’ [review of Mules] in Honest Ulsterman, 56 ([1977]), p.136.
  • Alan Hollinghurst, ‘Telling Tales’ [review of Why Brownlee Left], in Encounter, 56 (1981), pp.80-85.
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘The Mixed Marriage: Paul Muldoon’, in Preoccupations: Selected Prose 1968-1978 (London: Faber & Faber 1981), pp.211-23.
  • John Haffenden ‘A conversation with Paul Muldoon’, in Haffenden, ed., Poets in Conversation with John Haffenden (London: Faber & Faber 1981), pp.130-40 [var. 42].
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘The Shy Trickster’ [review], Times Literary Supplement (28 Oct. 1983), p.1180.
  • Nick Roe, ‘Cock and Bull Stories?’ [review of Quoof], in North Magazine, 2 (1984), pp.44-45.
  • John Kerrigan, ‘The New Narrative’ [review of Quoof], in London Review of Books (16-29 Feb. 1984), pp.22-23.
  • Adrian Frazier, ‘Juniper, Otherwise Known: Poems by Paulin and Muldoon’ [ review of Tom Paulin, Liberty Tree and Quoof], in Éire-Ireland, 19, 1 (Spring 1984), pp.123-33 [var. 44; incl. Heaney, Kinsella, Muldoon, Richard Murphy, Paulin, et. al.].
  • Bernard O’Donoghue, review of Quoof, in Poetry Review, 73, 4 (Jan. 1984), pp.53-54.
  • Michael Donaghy, ‘A Conversation with Paul Muldoon’, in Chicago Review, 35, 1 (1985), pp.76-85.
  • Dillon Johnston, ‘Towards “A Broader and More Comprehensive Irish Identity”, in Irish Poetry After Joyce (Illinois: Notre Dame UP 1985), pp.247-72.
  • Douglas Dunn, ‘Manoeuvres’ [review of Faber Book of Contemporary Verse], in Irish Review, 1 (1986), pp.84-90.
  • Bernard O’Donoghue, ‘Irish Plain-style’ [review of Thomas Kinsella, ed., New Oxford Book of Irish Verse and Paul Muldoon, ed., Faber Book of Contemporary Verse], in Poetry Review, 76, 3 (Oct. 1986), pp.51-53.
  • Clair Wills, Nick Jenkins, and John Lancaster, ‘An Interview with Paul Muldoon’, in Oxford Poetry, 3.1 (Winter 1986-87), pp.14-20.
  • Eamon Grennan, ‘A Whimful, Myopic Book’ [review of Faber Book of Contemporary Verse], in Honest Ulsterman, 82 (Winter 1986), pp.58-66.
  • Robert H. Hofman, ‘The Recent Generation at Their Song’ [review of The Wishbone], in Times Literary Supplement (30 May 1986), pp.585-86.
  • Edna Longley, ‘Varieties of Parable: Louis MacNeice and Paul Muldoon’, in Poetry in the Wars (Bloodaxe Books 1986), pp.211-43.
  • Michael Allen, ‘Realism Meets Phantasmagoria’ [review of Meeting the British], in Honest Ulsterman, 84 (1987), pp.60-65.
  • John Carey, ‘The Stain of Words’ [review of Seamus Heaney, The Haw Lantern’, and Paul Muldoon, Meeting the British], in The Sunday Times (21 June 1987), p.56.
  • William A. Wilson, ‘Paul Muldoon and the Poetics of Sexual Difference’, in Contemporary Literature, 28, 3 (Fall 1987), pp 317-31.
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘Flaneur along the Shopfronts’ [review of Meeting the British], in Poetry Review, 77: 3 (Autumn 1987), pp.44-49.
  • Lachlan Mackinnon, ‘A Dream Diffused in Words’ [review of Madoc], in Times Literary Supplement (12-18 Oct. 1990), p.1105.
  • Seán O’Brien, ‘Unique Particulars’ [review of Selected Poems], in Honest Ulsterman, 83 (Summer 1987), pp.96-97.
  • O’Donoghue, ‘Voice-Shifts’ [review of Selected Poems], in Irish Review, 2 (1987), pp.121-25.
  • William Scammell, ‘Mid-air Street?’ [review of Meeting the British], in Irish Review, 3 (1988), pp.144-46.
  • Alan Jenkins, Paul Muldoon [Contemporary Writers Ser.] (London: British Council 1988), [pamph.].
  • John Goodby, ‘“Armageddon, Armagh-geddon”: Language and Crisis in the Poetry of Paul Muldoon’, in Birgit Bramsbäck & Martin Croghan, eds., Anglo-Irish and Irish Literature, Aspects of Language and Culture, II (Uppsala UP 1988), pp.229-36.
  • Blake Morrison, ‘“Way Down Upon the Old Susquehanna”: An Interview with Paul Muldoon’, in Independent on Sunday (28 Oct. 1990), p.37.
  • Kathleen McCracken, ‘A Northern Perspective: Dual Vision in the Poetry of Paul Muldoon’, in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 16, 2 (Dec. 1990), pp.92-103.
  • John Banville, ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’ [review of Derek Mahon, Selected Poems and Paul Muldoon, Madoc: A Mystery], in NY Review of Books (30 May 1991), pp.37-39.
  • Neil Corcoran, ‘Strange Letters, Reading and Writing in Recent Irish Poetry’, in Paul Hyland & Neil Sammells, eds., Irish Writing, Exile and Subversion (London: Macmillan 1991), pp.234-57.
  • Lucy MacDiarmid, ‘From Signifump to Kierkegaard’ [review of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, The Astrakhan Coat, trans. Muldoon], in New York Times (28 July 1991), p.14.
  • Kevin Smith, ‘Lunch with Paul Muldoon’, in Rhinosceros, 4 (1991), pp.75-91 [interview].
  • Dominique Gauthier, ‘Paul Muldoon: The Satirist’s Approach’, in Jacqueline Genet, ed., The Big House in Ireland (Dingle: Brandon.
  • NY: Barnes & Noble 1991), pp.281-88.
  • Clair Wills, ‘The Lie of the Land, Language, Imperialism, and Trade in Paul Muldoon’s Meeting the British’, in The Chosen Ground: Essays on the Contemporary Poetry of Northern Ireland, ed. Neil Corcoran (Bridgend: Seren Books 1992), pp.123-49.
  • Richard Brown, ‘Bog Poems and Book Poems: Doubleness, Self-Transition and Pun in Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon’, in Corcoran, op. cit. (1992), pp.153-79.
  • Elmer Andrews, ‘Some Sweet Disorder, the Poetry of Subversion’, in B. Doherty and C. Bloom, eds., Insight into Modern British Poetry (London: Macmillan 1992) [on Muldoon, Paulin, and McGuckian), q.pp.].
  • Jacqueline McCurry, ‘“S’crap”: Colonialism Indicted in the Poetry of Paul Muldoon’, in Eire-Ireland, 27, 3 (1992), pp.92-109.
  • Peter Sirr review of Shining Brow, in The Irish Times (27 Feb. 1993) [see extract].
  • Clair Wills, Improprieties: Politics And Sexuality in Northern Irish Poetry (OUP 1993) 272pp. [readings of Tom Paulin, Medbh McGuckian, and Paul Muldoon].
  • Lachlan Mackinnon, review of Walking a Line, in Times Literary Supplement (6 June 1994), p.7.
  • Seán Dunne, review of The Annals of Chile and The Prince of the Quotidian in Irish Times (20 August 1994) [see extract].
  • Hugh Haughton, ‘Lord of Red Herrings’ [review of The Annals of Chile], in Independent [UK] (9 Oct. 1994), ‘Books/Poetry’ [see extract].
  • Ian Duhig, review of The Annals of Chile, in Fortnight (Sept. 1994) [q.p.].
  • Patrick Barron, interview with Paul Muldoon, in Fortnight Review (Oct. 1994), pp.42-44 [see extract].
  • Lawrence Norfolk, review of The Annals of Chile and The Prince of the Quotidian, in Times Literary Supplement (7 Oct. 1994), pp.32-33 [see extract].
  • Jon Stallworthy, ‘Fathers and Sons’, in Bullán: An Irish Studies Journal, 2, 1 (Summer 1995), pp.1-16, espec. 13ff. [all on McNeice with Mahon, Longley, and Muldoon].
  • Tim Kendall, ‘Parallel to the Parallel Realm: Paul Muldoon’s Madoc - A Mystery’, in Irish University Review (Autumn/Winter 1995), pp.232-41.
  • Oonagh Warke, review of Six Honest Serving Men, in Books Ireland (May 1995), p.130 [see extract].
  • Neil Corcoran, review of The Annals of Chile, in Irish Studies Review (Jan. 1996), pp.51-52 [see extract]
  • Steven D. Putzel, ‘Fluid Disjunction in Paul Muldoon’s “Immram” and “The More a Man Has the More a Man Wants”’ [Papers on Language and Literature], 32, 1 (Edwardsville: Winter 1996), pp.85-92.
  • Barbara Buchanan, ‘Paul Muldoon: “Who’s to Know What’s Knowable?”, in Elmer Andrews, ed., Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays (London: Macmillan 1996), pp.310-27.
  • Tim Kendall, Paul Muldoon (Bridgend Seren: Poetry Wales Press; Du Four 1996), 258pp.
  • Stephen Magee, ‘It’s Always the Right Word: An Interview with Paul Muldoon’, in Honest Ulsterman, 102 (August 1996), pp.109-15.
  • Carol Tell, ‘Utopia in the new World: Paul Muldoon’s America’, in Bullán: An Irish Studies Journal, 2, 2 (Spring/Summer 1996), pp.67-82.
  • Dominique Gautier, ‘An Interview with Paul Muldoon’, in Études Irlandaises (Printemps 1997), pp.53-70.
  • Peter McDonald, ‘Paul Muldoon and the Windlass-men’ [chap.], in Mistaken Identities: Poetry and Northern Ireland (Oxford: OUP 1997), pp.145-88.
  • Tom Paulin, ‘The Strangeness of the Script: Paulin in Conversation with Sarah Fulford’, in Irish Studies Review (Summer 1997), pp.2-4 [see extract].
  • Ian Gregson, Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism: Dialogue and Estrangement (London: Macmillan 1997) [chap. on Muldoon].
  • Helen Vendler, ‘Anglo-Celtic Attitudes’, in New York Review of Books (6 Nov. 1997), pp.57-60 [harsh review].
  • Eric Korn, review of Faber Book of Beasts, in Times Literary Supplement (21 Nov. 1997).
  • Peter Sirr, review Hay (1998), in The Irish Times (24 Oct. 1998).
  • Nicholas Jenkins, ‘For “Mother” read “Other”’ [review of Hay], in Times Literary Supplement (29 Jan. 1999), p.9-10.
  • Clair Wills, Reading Paul Muldoon (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1999), 222pp.
  • Rachael Buxton, ‘‘Structure and Serendipity: The Influence of Robert Frost on Paul Muldoon’, in Aaron Kelly & Alan Gillis, eds., Critical Ireland: New Essays in Literature and Culture (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2001), pp.14-21.
  • Harry Clifton, ‘Remembering the Redemptive Power of Art’, review of Paul Muldoon, Poems 1968-1998, in The Irish Times (26 May 2001), “Weekend” [see extract].
  • Mitsuko Ohno, ‘Hokusai, Basho, Zen and More: Japanese Influences on Irish Poets’, in Journal of Irish Studies (IASIL-Japan), XVII (2002), pp.15-31; p.24-25.
  • Peter Fallon, ‘Grains of lasting truth and beauty’, review of Moy Sand and Gravel, in The Irish Times ( 19 Oct. 2002 ), p.9 [see extract].
  • Ian Kilroy, ‘Transatlantic Poet’ [interview-article], in The Irish Times (19 April 2003), Weekend, p.8 [see extract].
  • Shane Murphy, ‘Sonnets, Centos and Long Lines: Muldoon, Paulin, McGuckian and Carson’, in Matthew Campbell, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry (Cambridge UP 2003), pp.189-208.
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ed., Paul Muldoon: Poetry, Prose & Drama (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 2005), 304pp.
  • Rajeev S. Patke, ‘Paul Muldoon’s “Incantata”: The “Post-” in “Postmodern”’, in Global Ireland: Irish Literatures for the New Millenium, ed. Ondrej Pilny & Clare Wallace [IASIL Conference 2004] (Prague: Litteraria Pragensia 2005), pp.61-73.
  • Shane Alcobia-Murphy, Sympathetic Ink: Intertextual Relations in Northern Irish Poetry (Liverpool UP 2006), 284pp. [on Heaney, Muldoon & McGuckian];
  • Jefferson Holdridge, The Poetry of Paul Muldoon (Liffey Press 2008), 232pp.
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ‘Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon: Omphalos and Diaspora’, in Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008 (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer 2008), pp.83-117.
  • Ryoji Okuda, Paul Muldoon: Poetics and Politics (Shumpusha Publishing 2009), 167pp.
  • Florence Schneider, ‘Acutely Discomforting: Subversive Representation in Paul Muldoon’s Poetry’, in Sub-Versions: Trans-National Readings of Modern Irish Literature, ed. Ciaran Ross (Amsterdam: Rodopi Press 2010), q.pp.
See also ...
  • Fran Brearton & Eamonn Hughes, eds., Last Before America - Irish and American Writing: Essays in Honour of Michael Allen (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 2001), incls. Patricia Horton, ‘“A Truly Uninvited Shade”: Romantic Legacies in the Work of Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon’ [pp.16-28], and Richard Kirkland, ‘Ways of Saying/Ways of Reading: Materiality, Literary Criticism and the Poetry of Paul Muldoon’ [pp.69-79].
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008 (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer 2008), xii, 306pp. [with num. others];
 

See also John Brown, In the Chair: Interview with Poets from the North of Ireland (Galway: Salmon Press 2002) [interview], and Heather Clark, The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 (Oxford: OUP 2007), 255pp., See also sundry reviews under Commentary, as infra. Also reviews by Peter Forbes, Independent [UK] (14 May 1987); Mick Imlah, Times Literary Supplement (4 Sept. 1987); John F. Deane, Sunday Independent, 12 July 1987; John Carey, Sunday Times (21 June 1987), and a film on Muldoon by Douglas Carson [q.d.].

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Commentary
See separate file [infra].

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Quotations
The Mud Room”, full-page and a quarter double-column poem, Times Literary Supplement, 31 July 1998, pp.22-23: ‘[…] we followed the narrow track, my love, we followed the narrow / track through a valley in the Jura / to where the goats delight to tread upon the brink / of meaning. I carried my skate rink, / the folding one, plus / a pair of skates laced with convolvulus, / you a copy of the feminist Haggadah / from last years seder. […&c.]’ (Later printed in Hay, 1998.)

“Something Else”

 

When your lobster was lifted out of the tank
to be weighed
I thought of woad,
of madders, of fugitive, indigo inks,

of how Nerval
was given to promenade
a lobster on a gossamer thread,
how, when a decent interval

had passed
(son front rouge encor du baiser de la refine)
and his hopes of Adrienne

proved false,
he hanged himself from a lamp-post
with a length of chain, which made me think

of something else, then something else again.

Meeting the British (London: Faber & Faber 1987, p.33.)

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Horace: Odes, Ode XV, Book I”, trans. by Paul Muldoon (Times Literary Supplement, 21 Dec. 2001, p.21): ‘When the young herdsman, Paris, a headsman as faithless as he was fair, / was hauling Helen back to his boat / of Trojan pine, the sea-god Nerves would stop the sea-airs / that can’t abide being stopped and float // this vision for the future: “It doesn’t bode well that you’ve taken on deck / a woman whom the Greeks will band together and swear an oath / to recover by force, determined as they’ll be to wreck / your marriage and old Priam’s kingdom both, // and I dread to think of the sweat-drenched horses, the men drenched with sweat, / dread to think of the carnage / you’re visiting on Troy. Even now Athena is laying out her breast-plate and helmet, / limbering up her battle-carriage and battle-rage. […]’; also Book III Ode XVIII.

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A Collegelands Catechism”: ‘Which is known as the “Orchard County”? / Which as the “Garden State”? / Which captain of the Bounty / was set adrift by his mate? // Who cooked and ate an omelette / midway across Niagara falls? / Where did Setanta get / those magical hurley balls // he ram-stammed down the throat / of the blacksmith’s hound? / Why would a Greek philosopher of note / refuse to be bound / by convention but live in a tub / from which he might overhear, / as he went to rub / an apple on his sleeve, the mutineers // plotting to seize the Maid of the Mist / while it was still half-able to forge / ahead and make half a fist / of crossing the Niagara gorge, // the tub in which he might light a stove / and fold the beaten / eggs into themselves? Who unearthed the egg-trove? / And who, having eaten // the omelette, would marvel at how the Mounties / had so quickly closed in on him, late / of the “Orchard County” / by way of the “Garden State”’ (In Times Literary Supplement, 5 July 2002, p.13.)

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1916 Rising: ‘If Willie Yeats had saved his pencil lead / Would certain men have stayed in bed?’ - in answer to W. B. Yeats famously asked “Did that pay of mine send out / Certain men the English shot?” (Quoted in Fintan O’Toole, review of Nicholas Grene, The Politics of Irish Drama, Cambridge UP, 312pp., in The Irish Time (11 March 2000 [Weekend]).

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Now pitching himself”: ‘Now pitching himself like a forlorn hope / in a pitched battle, Angus howls and howls / from his heavy duty bersker-cowl, / his hound-voice not quite managing to cope /// with his not quite having managed to brace / himself against this late call to arms / (as it happens, the Griggstown fire-alarm), .till he does some manner of about face // quite in step with his old messmate, Soren, / who forwards lives, sure, forwards lives his life / but only backwards hears the police-siren // articulate the exit-ramp jackknife / of a tractor-trailer, a trailer rife / with ricin or mustard gas or sarin.’ (Times Literary Supplement, 5 Nov. 2004, p.3.)

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My Ride’s Here” (from General Admission): ‘I was staying at the Marriott / With Jesus and John Wayne / I was waiting for a chariot / They were waiting for a train / The sky was full of carrion / I’ll take the mazuma / Said Jesus to Marion / That’s the 3:10 to Yuma / My ride’s here // Shelley and Keats were out on the street / And even Lord Byron was leaving for Greece / While back at the Hilton last but not least / Milton was holding his sides / Saying you bravos had better be ready to fight / Or we’ll never get out of East Texas tonight / For the trail is long and the river is wide And my ride’s here.’ (Quoted in Hugh McFadden, review, in Books Ireland, Dec. 2007, p.285 - remarking, ‘American razzle-dazzle, or what?’)

“Tara of the Kings”

 

We met at the summer solstice
when everything stood still
her sloping away like Iseult
left me over the hill
I raised the chamber in the mound
the oak-fringed sacred spring
that feeds the streams that run around
Tara of the kings

She was through with carbon dating
stakeholders with no hair
she was through with monster meetings
in flats off Parnell Square
she was through with crowned and uncrowned
yew trees with countless rings
the ditch that used to run around
Tara of the kings

Could we who endured the penal
and Edward Poyning’s laws
(never mind the beef tribunal)
now somehow be in awe
of a road running through the ground
on which stood our althing
and not ensure it run around
Tara of the kings?

We know the stone of destiny
was set up in this soil
now the soldiers of destiny
are set to bank the spoils
and lest they wish to be renowned
for rape and ravishing
they’ll not give us the runaround
on Tara of the kings

We’re fated to be remembered
as spoilers of the dead
and though we seem quite unhampered
by honour or by dread
yet we are dread- and honour-bound
to our unborn offspring
to ensure the M3 run around
Tara of the kings

—Save Tara website & download; accessed 09.11.2011.

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References
Blake Morrison & Andrew Motion, eds., The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1982), contains “Elizabeth”, “Identities”, “Mules”, “Paris”, “The Big House”, “Palm Sunday”, “Why Brownlee Left”, “Cuba”, “Quoof”, “Immram” (pp.138-44).

Peter Fallon and Seán Golden, ed., Soft Day, A Miscellany of Contemporary Irish Writing (Dublin: Wolfhound; US: Notre Dame 1980), reprints “Sir Walter”; “Uncle Pat”; “Lord Hawhaw”; “Truce”; “The Goods”.

Greagóir Ó Duill, ed., Filíocht Uladh 1960-1985 (BAC: Coiscéim 1986), reprints “Scoite”, under the name Pól Maoldúin.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, refs. at 676, 918, 920, 1313, 1315, 1316; selects from New Weather , “Thrush”, “The Field Hospital”; from Mules, “The Bearded Woman, by Ribera”; from Why Brownlee Left, “Cuba”; “Anseo” “Why Brownlee Left”, “Truce”; from Quoof, “Trance”, “The Right Arm”, “Cherish the Ladies”, “Aisling”, “My Father and I and Billy Two Rivers”, “Quoof”; from Meeting the British, “The Wishbone”, “Christo’s” [1412-16]; BIOG, 1435.

Patrick Crotty, ed., Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1995), selects “Lunch with Pancho Villa” [338]; “Cuba” [339]; “Anseo” [340]; “Gathering Mushrooms” [341]; “The More a Man Has the More a Man Wants” [343]; “Something Else” [361]; “Cauliflowers” [362].

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Notes
Sophia Hillen King
‘The Millstone and the Star, Regionalism as Strength’, in Linen Hall Review (Autumn 1994), pp.7-10, employs the ambiguous title of Knowing My Place (1971), an early pamphlet by Muldoon, as a turning-point in her essay and suggests that it derives from T. S. Eliot’s advice to ‘know our place’ in in ‘Little Gidding’. The pamphlet contains the lines ‘Starlings bring their acquired rococo / To the flat greys of the city [... &c]’.

Longmans’ list of books in print appended to P. W. Joyce, A Short History of Ireland [... &c.] (1893), includes the following:
Stephens - Madoc: An Essay on the Discovery of America, by Madoc Ap Owen Gwynedd, in the Twelfth Century. By Thomas Stephens. Edited by Llywarch Reynolds, M.A., Oxon., 8vo., 7s. 6d.

Paul Muldoon reviews the film The Last of the Mohicans, with Daniel Day Lewis (Times Literary Supplement, 6 Nov. 1992; also ‘Barbie, but no Bimbo’, review of Pocohontas [various cinemas] (Times Literary Supplement, 13 Oct. 1995, Arts, p.21).

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Writer’s Book Choice, Times Literary Supplement (1 December 2000): Paul Muldoon selects Selected Poems of Hood, Praed and Beddoes, ed. Susan J. Wolfson & Peter J. Manning (Penguin), noting ‘extremely witty introduction to three wise and witty poets’; also Thomas Nickerson, Owen Chase and Others, The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale [1820], and Les Murray, Learning Human.

Forewarned: ‘Celtic Skylight’, review of Meryle Secrest, Frank Lloyd Wright [biography], in Times Literary Supplement, 29 Jan. 1993: gives notice of the launch of Muldoon’s libretto to Daron Aric Hagen’s Shining Brow, dealing with his life, and particularly his affair with Mamah Cheney, the premier performance to take place in April 1993 at Madison in Wright’s home state.

Neil Corcoran: Corcoran offers a very personal appreciation of Muldoon in the form of a review of The Annals of Chile (1994), in Irish Studies Review (Jan. 1996), pp.51-52.

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Tim Kendall [ed. of Thumbscrew], Paul Muldoon (Bridgend Seren: Poetry Wales Press 1996), 258pp.; is reviewed by David Wheatley, Books Ireland, Nov. 1996.

Robert Potts, reviewing Sean O’Brien, The Deregulated Muse (Bloodaxe [1998]), cites chapter on Muldoon which the reviewer takes to be a review of the book by Kendall.

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Writer’s Book Choice (1): ‘International Books of the Year’ (Times Literary Supplement, 2 Dec. 1994): Muldoon makes his selection [along with other writers], in , and nominates Thom Gunn’s ‘majestic and magisterial’ Collected Poems (London: Faber), Craig Raine’s History, The Home Movie (Penguin), and Tom Lowenstein’s The Sacred Whale, an account of Intuit whale-hunting and rituals in Ancient Land: Sacred Whale (London: Bloomsbury).

Writer’s Book Choice (2): ‘International Books of the Year’ (Times Literary Supplement 1995): Muldoon’s selection features with those of 37 others; he cites poetry by Marilyn Hacker and Heather McHugh (both Americans) as well as a work by Levi Strauss and another by Steven Pinker [The Language Animal], from which he quotes: ‘A human figure is a hinged sign anyway, but two together make another set of signs and hinges, doubling up like quotations marks, resembling, dissembling, assembling’ (McHugh). See TLS, 1 Dec. 1995, p.10.

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Writer’s Book Choice (3), in Times Literary Supplement (1 December 2000): Muldoon notices Selected Poems of Hood, Praed and Beddoes, ed. Susan J. Wolfson and Peter J. Manning (Penguin), noting ‘extremely witty introduction to three wise and witty poets’; also Thomas Nickerson, Owen Chase & Others, The Loss of the Ship Essex, Sunk by a Whale [1820], and Les Murray, Learning Human.

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Writer’s Book Choice (4): ‘International Books of the Year’ (Times Literary Supplement, 6 Dec. 2002): Muldoon cites Simon Armitage, The Universal Home Doctor (Faber), ‘full of poems at once jolly and grave’; Glyn Maxwell, The Nerve (Picador), ‘spectacular from the get-go’; Ciaran Carson, trans. Dante’s Inferno (Granta), quoting [as supra], with comment: ‘[Carson] renders the terza rima in an English that’s never forced’; also cites Seamus Heaney, Finders Keepers (Faber); Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation (Allen Lane), ‘a must-read for anyone thinking of eating meat from cattle that have been fed [on] other cattle’.

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Borrowing or Allusion ?: Letter to Editor, Times Literary Supplement, 28 Oct.1994, remarks on Muldoon’s version of César Vallejo’s line, ‘los húmeros me he puesto a la mala’ rendered as ‘the very bones in my forearms ache’, and compares it with the translation ‘my arms are aching’ [by] A. Flores, which the correspondent facetiously suggests [‘curiously’] as the proximate source.

Rock star? Paul Muldoon is writing a Broadway musical with Warren Zevon, singer-song-writer, arising from a fan letter from the former to the latter. (See The Irish Times, 30 March 2002.)

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Washington Post (27 April 2003) ran a competition asking readers ‘write poetry that out-Muldoons Paul Muldoon, the Princeton professor who won this years’s Pulitzer Prise in poetry. The prize was ‘a genuine Zulo mcedo, which is a caplike object woven from grass and banana leaves that is worn by Zulu men underneath loincloths for protecton of a sensitive body part.’ A Muldoon sample is quoted thus: ‘With a toe in the water / and a nose for trouble / and an eye to the future / I would drive through Derryfubble’ [Moy Gravel], before offering its own version: ‘A nose to plunder, / An ear to poke in, /Ah, life is grand / In sunny Hoboken.’ The instructions continue: ‘Your [entry] must be a single quatrain, containing containing at least one rhyme and references to at least two body parts, and a geographical name.’

Washington Post (25 May 2003) announcecs the winner: Chris Doyle from Burke, with ‘A dyslexic / In Pueblo / Can’t tell his sas / From his elbow’. At the end of an extensive list of runners-up, Capt. J. C. Spugnardi of the 2nd Force Reconnaissance Company, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in Occupied Iraq, receives a special award of a T-shirt and corn plaster for these verses: ‘Sand crud in my eyes, / Long hikes, tired thighs. / Blisters on feet - / Get me out of Tikrit.’ (p.D02.)

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Reading at Reading: Paul Muldoon gives a reading in the Finzi Poetry Reading series at the University of Reading at 6.30pm on Monday 19th January 2004.

Vera of Las Vegas (playing in Ireland, 2004): two hapless IRA operatives Dumdum and Taco (played by Alan Fairs and Eugene Ginty) take a wrong flight and end up in Las Vegas, pursued by an immigration officer disguised as a flight attendant (Charlotte Page). There they encounter Vera (Jonathan Peter Kenny). Meanwhile a cast of lapdancers, strippers and show girls played by Irish Singers Rebekah Coffey, Carolyn Dobbin, Shirley Keane, Bridget Knowles and Elizabeth Woods. The opera is directed by Annilese Miskimmon and designed by Neil Irish (set/costumes), Tina MacHugh (lighting), Linda Dobell (movement) and Ciara Moore (video) with David Brophy conducting an contemporary music ensemble of himself Ken Edge, Joe Csibi and Noel Eccles. (See www.opera.ie.)

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More of Vera: ‘Opera Theatre Company will be skillfully merging the worlds of opera and jazz music with their European Premiere of Vera of Las Vegas. This is a truly contemporary “nightmare cabaret opera” by American composer Daron Hagen based on a text by poet Paul Muldoon. This slick black comedy (with a nod to The Crying Game) follows two desperate men with a past, on a bizarre journey from an interrogation centre in Northern Ireland to the glamour and sleaze of Las Vegas. The Director is Annilese Miskimmon, and David Brophy conducts a band of jazz musicians in cabaret scoring. Vera of Las Vegas appears Monday 29 November.’ (Irish Emigrant, Arts Review; Nov. 2004.)

Games Joyce: Muldoon’s predilection for puns is in some sense anticipated and critiqued by Bloom’s remarks in Ulysses: ‘One plus two plus six is seven. Do anything you like with figures juggling. Always find out this equal to that, symmetry under a cemetery wall’. (Michael Hollington, ‘Svevo, Joyce and Modernist Time’, in Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930, ed. Malcolm Bradbury & James McFarlane, Penguin 1976; rep. 1991, p.441.)

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Charlemont: Muldoon was commissioned by Jim Slevin, Pres. of the Royal Irish Academy, to write a poem for the occasion of the bestowal of the RIA Cunningham Medal on Seamus Heaney and responded, “Anything for Mr Heaney ”. Hence - “A Grand Tour: for Seamus Heaney, on his receiving the Cunningham Medal of the Royal Irish Academy, January 28, 2008”: ‘The first Earl of Charlemont would have taken in, / or been taken in by, an Egypt / that promised nothing of Canaan, a Turkey where they’d chipped and chopped // gold from the roofs of Constantinople, / his gentlemanly giro about Turin. / For though he viewed Ireland’s claim as undeniable / he could hardly have foreseen such a turn // of events as your instructing us not to privilege / the School of Athens over the Academies of whin-fen and bog-furze // or Ovid’s Medusa over a flax-dam’s floatage / but to entertain Rathsharkin as Rome, Toome as Tomis, the // Bann itself as the Bosphorus.” (The Irish Times, 2 Feb., 2008, Weekend; see also under James Caulfeild, Lord Charlemont, supra.)

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