Biography of Theo Dorgan
Theo Dorgan (born 1953) is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer, translator, librettist and documentary screenwriter. He currently lives in Dublin.
He was born in Cork in 1953, Dorgan was educated in North Monastery School. He completed a BA in English and Philosophy and a MA in English at University College Cork, after which he tutored and lectured in that University, while simultaneously Literature Officer with Triskel Arts Centre in Cork. He was visiting faculty at University of Southern Maine.
He lives in Dublin with his partner, the poet and playwright Paula Meehan.
After Theo Dorgan's first two collections, The Ordinary House of Love and Rosa Mundi, went out of print, and Dedalus Press reissued these two titles in a single volume What This Earth Cost Us. He has also published a selected poems in Italian, La Case ai Margini del Mundo, (Faenza, Moby Dick, 1999).
Dorgan has edited The Great Book of Ireland (with Gene Lambert, 1991); Revising the Rising (with Máirín Ní Dhonnachadha, 1991); Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 1996); Watching the River Flow (with Noel Duffy, Dublin, Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, 1999); The Great Book of Gaelic (wiith Malcolm Maclean, Edinburgh, Canongate, 2002); and The Book of Uncommon Prayer (Dublin, Penguin Ireland, 2007).
He has been Series Editor of the European Poetry Translation Network publications and Director of the collective translation seminars from which the books arose.
A former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, he has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television. His Jason and The Argonauts, to music by Howard Goodall, was commissioned by and premiered in the Royal Albert Hall in 2004. He was the scriptwriter for the acclaimed TV documentary series Hidden Treasures, and a series of texts commissioned from him features in the dance musical Riverdance. His songs have been recorded by a number of musicians, including Alan Stivell, Jimmy Crowley and Cormac Breathnach. He was presenter of Poetry Now on RTÉ Radio 1, and later presented RTÉ's TV books programme, "Imprint".
Among his awards are the Listowel Prize for Poetry, 1992 and the O'Shaughnessy Prize for Irish Poetry 2010. A member of Aosdána, he was appointed to The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon in 2003. He also served on the Board of Cork European Capital of Culture 2005.
Theo Dorgan Poems
Train To Derry
A crow beats on the updraft over a scragged hawthorn, rocked but plunging on. A stick of Paras, bristling with nerves, coughs and boots forward along the sheugh. Long after the soldiers have gone, the crows will settle home.
A Slow Poem
I place my finger with great care on the sleeping magnificent body of my beloved. The room is quiet and huge, the air still, so still
All Ireland Final
We stand for the anthem, buoyant and tribal, heart beating with heart, our colours brave, our faces turned towards the uncertain sun. The man beside me takes my hand: good luck to yours, he says;
Skull Of A Curlew
Skull of a curlew full of stars, my mouth on fire with black, unspeakable bees. Light on the lime boles, bleached and bare,
The Match Down The Park
for Na Piarsaigh on their fiftieth anniversary Tom Knott comes bulling out, his shoulder down bringing weight to bear on the sliothar dropping
The Second Fortune
Between what is and what is not we walked, the Huntress loosed a shot. Before and after, we were there -
A Charm On The Night Of Your Birthday
I light the sky above our bed for you with seven stars of gold, ploughing the deep for you - and that's not so hard when you are the sea.
April, a day off school. Indulged, bored, hungry for something new. The road bends below Driscoll's and I see her coming clear, laden with shopping bags, eyes bright in the full flow of talk.
The Second Fortune
Between what is and what is not
we walked, the Huntress loosed a shot.
Before and after, we were there -
the arrow pierced but singing air.
That, my love, was quite an art,
to be together and apart
yet we, transparent, without fear -
what were we but singing air?