Benedict Kiely


Born in 1919 in Dromore, Co Tyrone and raised in nearby Omagh. After graduating from University College Dublin in 1943 Kiely began his professional career in Dublin working for various journals.

By 1945 he was a full time critic for the Irish Independent and in the same year he published his first non-fiction book “Counties of Contention” about the partition of Ireland. He lectured and taught widely in Ireland and in the US was literary Editor of the Irish Press, wrote regularly for “The New Yorker” and became one of Ireland’s best known broadcasters.

He also published numerous non-fiction works including a biography of William Carleton and two volumes of memoirs, “Drink to the Bird” and “The Waves Behind Us”. He was elected Saoi of Aosdána. He lived in Donnybrook, Dublin.

Benedict Kiely died on 9th February 2007

If you weren’t banned, it meant you were no bloody good.”
Benedict Kiely

Land Without Stars, London, Johnson, 1946
In a Harbour Green, London, Cape, 1949; New York, Dutton, 1950
Call for a Miracle. London, Cape, 1950; New York, Dutton, 1951
Honey Seems Bitter, New York, Dutton, 1952; London, Methuen, 1954
The Cards of the Gambler: A Folktale, London, Methuen, 1953
There Was an Ancient House, London, Methuen, 1955
The Captain with the Whiskers, London, Methuen, 1960; New York, Criterion, 1961
Dogs Enjoy the Morning, London, Gollancz, 1968
Proxopera, London, Gollancz, 1977; Boston, Godine, 1987.
Nothing Happens in Carmincross, London, Gollancz, and Boston, Godine, 1985
The Trout in the Turnhole, Dublin, Wolfhound Press, 1995

Short Stories
A Journey to the Seven Streams: Seventeen Stories. London, Methuen, 1963.
Penguin Modern Stories 5, with others. London, Penguin, 1970.
A Ball of Malt and Madame Butterfly: A Dozen Stories. London, Gollancz, 1973.
A Cow in the House and Nine Other Stories. London, Gollancz, 1978.
The State of Ireland: A Novella and Seventeen Stories. Boston, Godine, 1980; London, Penguin, 1982.
A Letter to Peachtree and Nine Other Stories. London, Gollancz, 1987; Boston, Godine, 1988.
God’s Own Country. London, Minerva, 1993.
The Collected Stories, 2001.

Counties of Contention: A Study of the Origins and Implication of the Partition of Ireland. Cork, Mercier Press, 1945.
Poor Scholar: A Study of the Works and Days of William Carleton 1794-1869. London, Sheed and Ward, 1947; New York, Sheed and Ward, 1948.
Modern Irish Fiction: A Critique. Dublin, Golden Eagle, 1950.
All the Way to Bantry Bay and Other Irish Journeys. London, Gollancz, 1978.
Ireland from the Air. London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, and New York, Crown, 1985.
Yeats’ Ireland: An Illustrated Anthology. London, Aurum Press, and New York, Crown, 1989.
Drink to the Bird: A Memoir. London, Methuen, 1991.
25 Views of Dublin (commentary), photographs by James Horan. Dublin, Town House in Association with the Office of Public Works, 1994.
The Waves Behind Us: A Memoir. London, Methuen, 1999.
Editor, The Various Lives of Keats and Chapman and The Brother, by Flann O’Brien. London, Hart Davis MacGibbon, 1976.
Editor, The Penguin Book of Irish Short Stories. London, Penguin, 1981.
Editor, Dublin. Oxford and New York, Oxford University Press, 1983.
Editor, And As I Rode by Granard Moat. Dublin, Lilliput Press, 1996.