Thomas Kinsella


Born in Dublin in 1928. He attended University College Dublin and entered the Irish Civil Service, before becoming a full-time writer and teacher in the US.

He is the author of over 30 collections of poetry and has translated extensively from Irish, notably the great epic The Tain. He was a director of the Dolmen Press and Cuala Press, Dublin and in 1972 founded Peppercannister Press for the publication of sequences and long and occasional poems.

The editor of the New Oxford Book of Irish Verse and Austin Clarke’s Selected Poems and Collected Poems, Thomas Kinsella is also the author of The Dual Traditional a critical essay on poetry and politics in Ireland. His awards and honours include Guggenheim Fellowships, The Denis Devlin Memorial Award, the Irish University of Turin and the National University of Ireland.

In 2007 Thomas Kinsella was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin.

“Ireland’s history, culture and literature - in both languages - have been a major element in my writing career. The Troubles have not been a significant influence, although I have always been acutely aware of their causes. On one occasion - the injustice of the Widgery Tribunal findings in 1972 - I deferred my other writing concerns to write the poem “Butchers Dozen”. The matter was dealt with more fully subsequently in “The Dual Tradition”, a prose essay on poetry and politics in Ireland, published in 1995”
Thomas Kinsella

Poems (Dublin, The Dolmen Press, 1956);
Another September (Dolmen, 1958);
Poems & Translations (New York: Atheneum, 1961);
Downstream (Dolmen, 1962);
The Clergyman (Dublin: St Sepulchre’s Press, 1965);
Tear (Cambridge, MA: Pym-Randall Press, 1969);
Nightwalker and Other Poems (Dolmen, Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 1968; New York, Knopf, 1969);
Ely Place (Dublin: Tara Telephone Publications/St. Sepulchre’s Press, 1972);
Butcher’s Dozen (Dublin, Peppercanister, 1972);
The Good Fight (Peppercanister 1973);
Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems (Knopf, 1973);
Fifteen Dead (Peppercanister, 1979);
One and Other Poems (Dolmen, Oxford University Press, 1979);
Peppercanister Poems 1972-1978 (Dolmen 1979; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Wake Forest University Press, 1979);
One Fond Embrace (Deerfield, MA: Deerfield Press, 1981);
St Catherine’s Clock (Oxford University Press, 1987);
Blood & Family (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1988);
Poems from Centre City (Peppercanister, 1990);
Madonna and Other Poems (Peppercanister, 1991);
Open Court (Peppercanister, 1991);
The Pen Shop (Peppercanister, 1997);
The Familiar (Peppercanister, 1999);
Godhead (Peppercanister, 1999);
Citizen of the World (Peppercanister, 2000);
Littlebody (Peppercanister, 2000);
Collected Poems 1956-2001 (Oxford University Press, 2001);
Marginal Economy (Peppercanister, 2006);
Collected Poems 1956-2001 (Wake Forest University Press, 2006);
Belief and Unbelief (Peppercanister, 2007);
Man of War (Peppercanister, 2007);
Selected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2007; Winston-Salem, NC: Wake Forest University Press, 2010)
Fat Master (Peppercanister, 2011);
Love Joy Peace (Peppercanister, 2011).
Late Poems (Carcanet, 2013).

The Dual Tradition: An Essay on Poetry and Politics in Ireland (Carcanet, 1995);
Readings in Poetry (Peppercanister, 2006);
Prose Occasions: 1956-2006 (Carcanet, 2009).

Poetry and Prose:
A Dublin Documentary (O’Brien Press, 2007). (Selected poems with photographs and author’s commentary)

The Táin, translated from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, with illustrations by Louis le Brocquy. Dolmen, 1969; Oxford University Press, 1970.
An Duanaire - Poems of the Dispossessed, an anthology of Gaelic poems; edited by Seán Ó Tuama. Portlaoise: Dolmen Press, 1981.

Fair Eleanor, O Christ Thee Save (Claddagh Records, 1971)
Thomas Kinsella - Poems 1956-2006 (Claddagh Records, 2007)

Writings About Thomas Kinsella:
Thomas Kinsella: Donatella Abbate Badin Twaynes English Authors Series (New York, 1996)
Reading the Ground: The Poetry of Thomas Kinsella. (1996)
Irish University Review: Special Thomas Kinsella Issue (Dublin 2001)
Thomas Kinsella: The Peppercannister Poems. Derval Tubridy (Dublin 2001)
Thomas Kinsella: Designing for the Exact Needs. Maurice Harmon (Dublin, 2008)
The Sea of Disappointment: Poetry of Thomas Kinsella. Andrew Fitzsimons (Dublin 2008)
Irish Studies Review: Thomas Kinsella Issue. (Oxford 2008)