Derek Mahon

Derek Mahon

Derek Mahon at a poetry reading with a book in his left hand and a a microphone in the foreground


Derek Mahon was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 23, 1941. He was educated at the Belfast Royal Academical Institution and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he majored in French (1960-1965). In 1960 he began publishing poems in Icarus , a student literary magazine, and in 1965 he received the Eric Gregory Award for poetry. For the next few years, Mahon held a variety of teaching jobs in Ireland, England, France, Canada, and the United States. His first collection of poems, the chapbook Twelve Poems, was published by Queens University in 1965. His first major collection, Night Crossing, was published by Oxford University Press in 1968. In 1970 Mahon moved to London where he worked as a free-lance journalist, while also serving as drama critic for the Listener (1971-1972) and features editor for Vogue (1974-1975). During the early seventies he contributed frequent reviews to the Observer , the Listener , New Statesman , and the Times Literary Supplement . Also during these years he published two more full-length collections of poems, Lives (1972) and The Snow Party (1975). In 1977 he returned to Northern Ireland as writer in residence at the New University of Ulster, Coleraine. In 1979 a selection of Mahon's early poetry was published by Oxford University Press, Poems, 1962-1978; that same year he took a position with the BBC writing adaptations for television. Among his many television adaptations are Jennifer Johnston's Shadows on Our Skin and How Many Miles to Babylon?, and Elizabeth Bowen's The Demon Lover and The Death of the Heart. In 1982 Mahon published The Hunt by Night, and in 1985 the chapbook Antarctica. In 1990 Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon co-edited The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry. In 1991 he received the Lannan Foundation Prize and the following year The Irish Times-Aer Lingus Poetry Prize. After a lengthy silence, Mahon published a chapbook The Yaddo Letter in 1992, followed by the long verse sequence The Hudson Letter in 1995. A collection of his prose work was published in 1996 under the title Journalism. In 1995 Mahon moved from New York to Dublin, where he still lives, and in the fall of 1997 Gallery Press published The Yellow Book. In 1998, he published his translations of Philippe Jacottet's poetry as Words In the Air. His Collected Poems, also published by Gallery, was released in November 1999; this collection represents, according to the publisher, "the poems the author 'wishes to preserve' from the work of forty years." Some months later, Penguin issued a shorter collection of his poems in the U.K., entitled Selected Poems (2000). (Derek Mahon papers, circa 1948-2018)

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  • Fallon, Peter, 1951- VIAF - colleague, correspondedWith
  • Derek Mahon VIAF Wikipedia - sameAs
  • Seamus Heaney VIAF Wikipedia - correspondedWith
  • James Simmons VIAF Wikipedia - correspondedWith
  • Michael Longley VIAF Wikipedia - correspondedWith
  • Paul Muldoon VIAF Wikipedia - mentions, correspondedWith
  • Hecht, Anthony, 1923- VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Berkeley, Sara VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Jennifer Johnston VIAF - colleague
  • Dunn, Douglas. VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Trinity College, Dublin Wikipedia - affiliation, alumniOf
  • McGuckian, Medbh, 1950- VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Grennan, Eamon, 1941- VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Merwin, W. S. (William Stanley), 1927- VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Brian Moore VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Higgins, Aidan VIAF - correspondedWith
  • O'Grady, Desmond, 1935- VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Pinter, Harold VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Paulin, Tom. VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Samuel Beckett VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Montague, John. VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Brian Friel VIAF - correspondedWith
  • Asekoff, L. S. (Louis S.), 1939- VIAF - knows


  • BBC Wikipedia - affiliation, worksFor
  • Trinity College, Dublin Wikipedia - affiliation, alumniOf
  • Royal Belfast Academical Institution Wikipedia - affiliation, alumniOf
  • New University of Ulster Wikipedia - worksFor
  • Wake Forest University Press Wikipedia - correspondedWith
  • gatherings of writers known simply as "the group." VIAF - mentions, affiliation
  • American Poetry Review Wikipedia - affiliation
  • New Statesman Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Observer Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Triquarterly Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Tikkun Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Oxford University Press Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Salmagundi Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Times Literary Supplement Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Observer Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Icarus Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Penguin Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Listener Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Vogue Wikipedia - affiliation
  • New York Foundation for the Arts Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Brooklyn College Wikipedia - affiliation
  • National Endowment for the Arts Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Vogue Wikipedia - affiliation
  • The New Yorker Wikipedia - affiliation
  • Poetry Wikipedia - affiliation