Medbh McGuckian


Medbh McGuckian was born in Belfast in 1950. Lives and teaches there at Queen’s University School of Creative Writing.

She has published with Oxford University Press, Wake Forest Press USA and Gallery Books, Ireland. She is the winner of many poetry awards and one of the most prolific and prominent poets in the country.

“I am still coming to terms with it [The Troubles]. My earliest work and all my work has tried to both ignore and understand it, historically and culturally. It is the tragedy that triggers my deepest poetic responses.”
Medbh McGuckian

Selected Poetry:
The Flower Master, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1982
Venus and the Rain, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1984
The Big Striped Golfing Umbrella: Poems by Young People from Northern Ireland (ed), Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast, 1985
On Ballycastle Beach, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1988
Marconis Cottage, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 1991
Captain Lavender, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 1994
Selected Poems: 1978-1994, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 1997
Shelmalier, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 1998
Horsepower Pass By!: A Study of the Car in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney, Cranagh Press, Coleraine, 1999
The Water Horse: Poems in Irish by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill with translations into English by Medbh McGuckian and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 1999
Drawing Ballerinas, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 2001
The Face of the Earth, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 2002
The Book of the Angel, Gallery Books, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, 2004
The Currach Requires No Harbours Gallery Press, 2006
My Love Has fared Inland Gallery Press, 2008
The High Caul Cap, Gallery , 2012

Selected Prizes:
1979 National Poetry Competition (‘The Flitting’)
1980 Eric Gregory Award
1982 Ireland Arts Council Award The Flower Master
1982 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature The Flower Master
1983 Alice Hunt Bartlett Award The Flower Master
1989 The Cheltenham Prize On Ballycastle Beach
1992 Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Poetry (shortlist) Marconi’s Cottage
2002 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Single Poem) (‘She is in the Past, She has this Grace’)