Biography of Maurice Riordan
an Irish poet, translator, and editor. Born in Lisgoold, County Cork, Riordan has published three collections of poetry: A Word from the Loki (1995), a largely London-based collection which was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize; Floods (2000) which took a more millennial tone, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award; and The Holy Land (2007) which contains a sequence of Idylls or prose poems and returns to Riordan's Irish roots more directly than his earlier work. It received the Michael Hartnett Award.
He is a prolific editor and his anthologies include A Quark for Mister Mark: 101 Poems about Science (2000), a collaboration with Jon Turney, an anthology of ecological poems Wild Reckoning (2004) edited with John Burnside, and Dark Matter (2008) edited with astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell. He has also edited a selection of poems by Hart Crane (2008) in Faber's 'Poet to Poet' series.
He has translated the work of Maltese poet Immanuel Mifsud as Confidential Reports (2005). In the same year he released a collection for children entitled The Moon Has Written You a Poem, adapted from the Portuguese of José Letria.
In 2004 he was selected as one of the Poetry Society's 'Next Generation' poets. He was Poetry Editor of Poetry London from 2005 to 2009.
Maurice Riordan has taught creative writing at Goldsmiths College and at Imperial College and is currently Professor of Poetry at Sheffield Hallam University. He also works with amateur poets through the Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School. He lives in South London.
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Maurice Riordan Poems
after the Maltese of Immanuel Mifsud In the electronic age, every nutcase With a notebook is writing a masterpiece.
The Dun Cow
What’s the Dun Cow doing on the Old Kent Road, I’m wondering, when who should blow in But this boyo wearing the moss-green gabardine My mother wore when out feeding the hens.
Stars And Jasmine
Each of them has been a god many times: cat, hedgehog and – our summer interloper – the tortoise. A perfect triangle, they can neither eat nor marry one another.
after the Irish of Séathrún Céitinn Dear one, with your wiles, You’d best remove your hand,
for Kathryn You ask again about the nests – the wren’s hung in the ivy above the broken pier,
Epilogue To The Pastoral Care Of Gregory...
from Old English Here is the water which the Lord of all Pledged for the well-being of his people.
The January Birds
The birds in Nunhead Cemetery begin Before I've flicked a switch, turned on the gas. There must be some advantage to the light
The Dun Cow
What’s the Dun Cow doing on the Old Kent Road,
I’m wondering, when who should blow in
But this boyo wearing the moss-green gabardine
My mother wore when out feeding the hens.
Those beaks were taking it in turns to coax
Crushed oats from between her toes, her horny
Old toes covered over with sores, with the bunions
and warts that stuck out through her brogues.