Biography of Greg Delanty
Greg Delanty (born 1958) is a celebrated poet on both sides of the Atlantic as the issue dedicated to him of the British magazine Agenda (poetry journal) attests. Delanty was born in Cork City, Ireland, and is generally placed in the Irish tradition, though he is also considered a Vermont and US poet appearing in various significant US anthologies. He lives for most of the year in America, where he is the poet in residence at St Michael's College, Vermont. He became an American citizen in 1994, retaining his Irish citizenship. He is a Past President of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers.
Irish novelist Colum McCann, who has himself resettled in America, has described Delanty as the poet laureate of the contemporary Irish-in-America: “Delanty has catalogued an entire generation and its relationship to exile. He is the laureate of those who have gone.”
Greg Delanty attended University College Cork (UCC) where he was taught by Sean Lucy and John Montague (poet) and was among a talented group of writers who emerged at the university in that period, including Maurice Riordan, Gregory O'Donoghue, Thomas McCarthy (poet), William Wall (writer), Gerry Murphy (poet), and Seán Dunne (poet). Equally important to him, were the poets who wrote in Gaelic, in UCC, such as Liam Ó Muirthile, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Louis DePaor and Colm Breathnach. At UCC Delanty edited the university magazine Quarryman and published his first poems in The Cork Examiner. As an editor of two issues of Quarryman he published poems by poets writing in Gaelic (without translation) and English, and was the first to do so in Ireland. He also solicited poems not just from fellow students but well known poets throughout Ireland and beyond, such as Seamus Heaney, Paul Durcan, Edwin Morgan (poet) and David Gascoyne.
His poems are widely anthologized and have appeared in American, Irish, Italian, English, Australian, Japanese and Argentinean anthologies, including the Norton Introduction to Poetry, Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, American Poets of the New Century, 20th Century Irish Poems, Contemporary Poets of New England and The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry. His Individual poems have been published in such publications as The Atlantic formily The Atlantic Monthly, the New Statesman, The New Republic, American Scholar, The Irish Times, PN Review, and The Times Literary Supplement
Greg Delanty is the Co-Editor with Michael Matto of the critically acclaimed and a best seller on Amazon The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation (Introduced by Seamus Heaney). New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.
Many of his poems have been broadcast on radio and television, from Garrison Kellior The Writer's Almanac to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and Radio Teilifis Eireann (Raidió Teilifís Éireann—Irish National TV and Radio Broadcasting). He also has been interviewed extensively. Two interviews worth noting are the Vermont PBS interview with Fran Stoddart in the program ‘Profiles’; and the other interview was with David Hanley in the RTE poetry program ‘The Enchanted Way’.
The National Library of Ireland has acquired Greg Delanty’s papers up to 2010.
Greg Delanty Poems
IN A DINER ABOVE THE LAMOILLE RIVER
from The Greek Anthology, Book XVII The rocks below on the river trail foam fins as if they swim upstream along with the salmon returning to their spawning grounds, leaping falls, freshets, the ancient anonymous struggle. The fish age instantly to mottled old-timers, dying in the nursing pools of their birth waters. A tour group of elderly are the only other diners, their skin mottled not unlike the salmon. They seem to get along. They jaw about the weather, the water height, the amount to tip. One woman's trembling hand fills the diner questionnaire with praise. I scribble this on the back of mine, and tip the kind waitress a little more than usual. She laid their steaming bowls like a priestess setting her libation on the altar of trembling elder gods. - Honestmedon
A New Law
Let there be a ban on every holiday. No ringing in the new year. No fireworks doodling the warm night air. No holly on the door. I say let there be no more. For many are not here who were here before.
from The Greek Anthology, Book XVII I tried to finagle my way out of another military campaign, But what could I do when Palamedes placed my son in the path of the plough horses? The tears of my boy, on being manhandled by that wiseacre, turned from fear to grief. I consoled Telemachus, said I'd not be gone long, that he was boss now. What I missed most on the plains of Troy amid the debacle, the death of friends, the infamous voyage back, was my laughing boy with the big brown eyes, the pillow fights, the games of tag, football, letting him pip me in the hoop race. When I did arrive back to my son, the man, it was right that I should approach him disguised as a beggar. (Fragment from the lost poem Telemachus) - Danichorus
AT A TABLE IN MUDDY WATERS
from The Greek Anthology, Book XVII Three women talk about their men, boyfriends, crushes. Each looks beautiful. One wears a ponytail and the tattoo of a star on her wrist; another has shower-wet hair scented with hyacinth, the third one sews (surely Clotho) without a glance at her handiwork. They take no notice of me at a nearby café table, invisible as a cab driver - my hair thinning. Clotho says of one beau: "I'm really not gone on him. He's too nice." Said in earnest, no irony intended. The others nod, don't laugh. I wish I had been privy to this conversation thirty years ago. I, who was always fallen over myself being nice to women I most longed for, hardly ever ended up with. If only I'd known. - Gregory of Corkus
"As a chimpanzee - usually an adult male - gets closer, and the roar of water grows louder he quickens his pace, his hair bristles and on reaching the waterfall he stands upright, dances from foot to foot, dips his hand in the stream, stamps and splashes in the shallow rush. He has been known to pick up and hurl rocks, climb slender draping vines and swing like a chasuble out over the flow. The spray is the incense of his water ceremony."
Did you know the life-coupling way of the swan is also that of the crow? Greg Delanty (in ‘On the Marriage of Friends') When lover looks at lover on a date, the reward and pleasure zones of the pate - the ventral tegmentum and caudate nucleus - blaze, all but blow a fuse, driven by a powerhouse of urges, current surges. Such ogling each other's eyes, the agony of bliss, each one another's prize. Then the spiraling into misery, doubt, worry, texting each other to hurry, "We're too long apart." Serotonin usurped by the coup of dopamine. * Soon enough the highs fade. The Adonis or Aphrodite turns into the ordinary, the ugly. What did he see in those eyes, that gazelle neck? Consider the blackheads on her aquiline nose. Look at those wobbly thighs, his paunch, the way she lies with her back to him, that noble head developing a double chin. How she wishes him dead, daydreams how an accident would release these two, a common fantasy that few admit to. How guilty she feels, such thoughts in her head. And "What about our kids", the reason behind the chemical trick; the lies that bind? * If the couple survive the dopamine withdrawals, - the shattered Cupid spectacles - they may begin the slow-burning relationship soldering them together. Companionship inducing oxytocin into the blood of matrimony, healing the phantom bliss, the monogamy monotony, building a network of companion receptors. The couple grow into each other, learn the way of swan and crow, tolerate the raucous caw- cawing of the regular day of the jackdaw, helped by chatter, laughter, the weekly lay, shared interest, kids, building the family nest. When one of the partners passes on the oxytocin-bond is evident in the drifting lone swan.
I'm back again scrutinizing the Milky Way of your ultrasound, scanning the dark matter, the nothingness, that now the heads say is chockablock with quarks & squarks, gravitons & gravitini, photons & photinos. Our sprout, who art there inside the spacecraft of your Ma, the time capsule of this printout, hurling & whirling towards us, it's all daft on this earth. Our alien who art in the heavens, our Martian, our little green man, we're anxious to make contact, to ask divers questions about the heavendom you hail from, to discuss the whole shebang of the beginning&end, the pre-big bang untime before you forget the why and lie of thy first place. And, our friend, to say Welcome, that we mean no harm, we'd die for you even, that we pray you're not here to subdue us, that we'd put away our ray guns, missiles, attitude and share our world with you, little big head, if only you stay.
After Viewing The Bowling Match at Castl...
I promised to show you the bowlers out the Blarney Road after Sunday mass, you were so taken with that painting of the snazzy, top-hatted peasant class
from The Greek Anthology, Book XVII
I tried to finagle my way out of another
military campaign, But what could I do
when Palamedes placed my son
in the path of the plough horses? The tears of my boy,
on being manhandled by that wiseacre, turned from fear
to grief. I consoled Telemachus, said I'd not be gone long,
that he was boss now. What I missed most on the plains
of Troy amid the debacle, the death of friends,