Julie O’Callaghan

Life
1954- ; b. Chicago; moved to Ireland, 1974; issued Edible Anecdotes (1983), Poetry Books Soc. Recommendation; also What’s What (1992), Poetry Book Choice; also No Can Do (2000), while Taking My Pen for a Walk (1988) and Two Barks (1999) are poetry collections for teenagers; winner of Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, 2001; Arts Council Bursaries in 1985, 1990, and 1998; elected to Aosdána, May 2003; issued Problems (2005) and Tell Me This is Normal: New and Selected Poems (2007), Poetry Book Recommendation; suffered the loss of her husband Dennis O’Driscoll, Dec. 2012.

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Works
Poetry Collections,
  • Edible Anecdotes (Dublin: Dolmen Press 1983);
  • What’s What (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1991), 77pp.;
  • No Can Do (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 2000), 96pp.,
  • Problems (Boston: Pressed Wafer 2005), 35pp. [cover painting by Martin Gale];
  • Tell Me This is Normal: New and Selected Poems (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 2007), 168pp.
Also and Calligraphy (q.d.);
For children
  • Taking My Pen for a Walk (1988);
  • Two Barks (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe 1998), 62pp., ill. Martin Fish [reviewed in Books Ireland, Oct. 1999].
Contributions
  • “A View of Mount Fuji” [ded. to Patrick Scott] in The Irish Times (15 June 1996), Weekend Review, p.10.

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Quotations
Poems Have to Sneak up on You’, in “My Writing Day” [column], Irish Times (11 March 2000), Weekend, p.9, by author of No Can Do (Bloodaxe.). O’Callaghan writes:‘[…] The most important attribute needed for poetry is a sens eof how odd it is to be a humanoid. If you don’t wake up every morning on a foreign planet, you can forget poetry as a pastime. You make take all the writing courses you want, but the essential ingredient cannot be taught.’

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References
Anthologised in New Oxford Book of Children’s Verse (OUP q.d.) and New Faber Book of Children's Verse (Faber. q.d.); Bright Lights Blaze Out (OUP 1986); Cambridge Contemporary Poets, 1 (Cambridge UP 1992).

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