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Irish Poetry and Literature Resources


Below is a catalogue of some of the most significant collections the Rose Library holds related to Irish poets, including various collections acquired at different times concerning the same author.


Ciaran Carson papers, circa 1970-2010, 34.5 linear feet 

The collection consists of the personal and literary papers of Ciaran Carson from 1970-2010. The papers include correspondence, literary notebooks, literary manuscripts, printed material, subject files, photographs, and personal files. Among the correspondents represented in the papers are the poets Peter Fallon, Tess Gallagher, Seamus Heaney, Medbh McGuckian, John Montague, and Frank Ormsby. Writings include numerous drafts (in manuscript and typescriptform) of Carson's published poems and prose, as well as a significant number of unpublished poems. There are also unpublished draft materials and published versions of creative and critical work sent to or collected by Carson. Printed material includes reviews, programs, and clippings related to Carson's writings, performances and readings. The collection also contains early "group sheets" from Philip Hobsbaum's Belfast Group, Arts Council of Northern Ireland records, and an assortment of photographs and other personal items.


Dennis O'Driscoll, 1978-2012, 75.265 linear feet 

The collection consists of the papers of Irish poet, Dennis O'Driscoll, and contains audiovisual material, correspondence, diaries, his writings, writings by others, printed material, and subject files from 1978-2012. Most of the correspondence is organized into folders and labeled with the name of the correspondent. His writings are organized into folders and labeled with the title of the work. There is a significant amount of material reflectingO'Driscoll's professional relationship with Seamus Heaney, including correspondence and annotated drafts of manuscripts, particularly those of O'Driscoll's biography of Heaney, Stepping Stones. Boxes identified as containing printed material generally contain loose printed material, including newspaper and magazine clippings and articles printed from the Internet that are not organized in a distinct way or by an obvious method. Most of the subject files also contain mainly printed material, but these are organized by people's names. Material in both subject files and printed material reflects O'Driscoll’s work or documents the activities of O’Driscoll and writers in his circle. Audio and video recordings primarily include interviews of and readings by poets and writers, including Lucile Clifton, Jack Gilbert, Allen Ginsberg, Eamon Grennan, Seamus Heaney, Rita Ann Higgins, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, W.S. Merwin, Paul Muldoon, Sharon Olds, and Octavio Paz. Many of the recordings on the audio cassette tapes are from British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTE) radio programs that O'Driscoll recorded himself. Most of the video cassette tapes include recordings conducted by the Lannan Foundation. Born digital material includes correspondence, interview files, and materials relating to O'Driscoll's biography on Heaney. Finally, the collection includes O'Driscoll's diaries from 1979-2012.


Peter Fallon - Gallery Press collection, circa 1967-1998, 131.375 linear feet 

The collection contains the records of The Gallery Press and Peter Fallon from ca. 1967-1998. The records include literary manuscripts, correspondence files, subject files, printed material, and photographs.


Maud Gonne and W.B. Yeats papers, circa 1890-1938, 2.5 linear feet

The collection is made up primarily of correspondence, including 375 letters from Maud Gonne to W.B. Yeats, written between 1890 and 1930. The collection also contains 27 letters from Yeats to Gonne from roughly the same period. Most of these letters were published in the volume The Gonne-Yeats Letters 1893-1938 (W.W. Norton, 1992) edited by Maud Gonne's granddaughter, Anna MacBride White, and A. Norman Jeffars.


Desmond O'Grady papers, 1953-2007, 38.75 linear feet 

The Desmond O'Grady papers include literary and personal papers of the poet and translator, Desmond O'Grady from 1953-2001. The bulk of the collection consists of drafts of O'Grady's own writings, including poems from Chords and Orchestrations, Reilly, The Dark Edge of Europe, The Dying Gaul, Hellas, Separations, Stations, Sing Me Creation, His Skaldcrane's Nest, The Wandering Celt, Alexandrian Notebook, and Tipperary and translations from Off Licence,The Gododdin, A Limerick Rake, Grecian Glances, The Seven Arab Odes, Ten Modern Arab Poets, and Trawling Tradition. Also present are extensive files of personal and literary correspondence including letters from Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, James Simmons, and Richard Ellmann. The collection also includes writings by others, personal files (including diaries and other personal items), collected printed material either by or about Desmond O'Grady, photographs, and sound recordings.


Seamus Heaney papers, 1951-2004, 50 linear feet

The Seamus Heaney papers consist of correspondence, literary manuscripts, printed material, subject files, photographs, audiovisual material, and personal papers from 1951-2004. Correspondence (1963-2004) comprises the bulk of the collection and documents Heaney’s relationship with his students, publishers, friends, and other literary figures, including Joseph Brodsky, Donald Davie, Seamus Deane, Douglas Dunn, Peter Fallon, Brian Friel, Anthony Hecht,Ted Hughes, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, and James Simmons. Literary manuscripts include a small group of poems and prose written by Heaney and many manuscripts sent to him by other literary figures and by aspiring writers. Printed material, either written by or about Seamus Heaney is present as are other printed items collected by him. Small groups of subject files, audiovisual material, and personal papers are included as well as a large group of photographs from 1951-2003.


Seamus Heaney collection, 1972-2014, 1.5 linear feet

The collection consists of materials relating to Seamus Heaney from 1972-2014 including, writings by Heaney, printed materials, photographs and correspondence. The manuscript writings in the collection include multiple drafts of "Fosterage," a two-page typescript on Michael McLaverty (published as an introduction to McLaverty's Collected Stories in 1978), a manuscript of a talk on Wordsworth's Prelude which Heaney wrote for Irish radio around 1974, and settings copies of the poems "Bog Queen," "Punishment," "The Grauballe Man," and "Kinship," with editor's markings and corrections in Heaney's hand. There is also a manuscript of a poem "For Daisy," written on the occasion of Daisy Garnett's christening. Heaney gave the keynote address during Emory University's 2003 commencement and a typescript draft with revisions in his hand is also included in this section.

The collection also includes printed promotional posters, programs, a small group of photographs, and a DVD of an interview with Heaney. Born digital material includes video interviews with friends of Heaney's.

The restricted correspondence consists of letters from Seamus Heaney to Sebastian Barker from 1981-1991 and relate to proposed readings, an essay Heaney was writing on Patrick Kavanagh, and Barker's proposal that Heaney serve as President of the Poetry Society. Additional correspondence with Mrs. Parker (1976) and "Robert" (1978) relate to items found in the writing series of this collection and the J. Howard Woolmer correspondence relates to the publication of Stern, a poem in memory of Ted Hughes.


Seamus Heaney correspondence and manuscripts, 1990-2007, 4 linear feet 

The collection consists of material compiled by Rand Brandes while researching and writing Seamus Heaney: A Bibliography, 1959-2003, from 1990-2007. The material consists primarily of correspondence from Seamus Heaney to Brandes regarding the bibliography, in addition to manuscripts of poems and other works by Heaney. The collection also includes printed material, photographs, and audiovisual material related to Seamus Heaney.


Rita Ann Higgins papers, 1968-2011, 48 linear feet 

The collection consists of the papers of Rita Ann Higgins from 1968-2017 and includes correspondence, personal papers, writings, printed material, and audiovisual material. Correspondence is both personal and professional and contains letters from Neil Astley, Paul Durcan, Gráinne Healy, Anne Kennedy, Ted McNulty, Vivienne Plumb, Alison Leslie Gold, and Eva Bourke, as well as letters regarding her participation in Aosdána and the Cúirt literary festival.There are also numerous letters from Higgins' husband, Christopher (Christy), her daughters, Heather and Jennifer, and her niece, Carmel. Personal papers contain financial records, photographs, travel documents, academic records, journals, day planners, planning calendars, and materials documenting Higgins' political activities. Writings consist of poetry, prose, scripts, and notes and notebooks by Higgins, as well as poetry and prose by writers such as Neil Astley, Eva Bourke, Anne Kennedy, Joan McBreen, Patsy Murphy, Julia Roddy, and Moya Roddy. Printed material includes fliers, programs, brochures, posters, and other promotional material relating to Higgins' work and interests such as health and wellness and Irish politics. Audiovisual material contains sound and video recordings of interviews with and poetry readings by Rita Ann Higgins, as well as readings by other poets and recordings relating to Irish news and politics. Processed born digital material includes drafts of poems, writings, and plays, as well as correspondence and photographs from 28 3.5" floppy disks, two compact discs, and five flash drives.


Irish women poets oral history collection, 1999, .25 linear feet

The collection consists of oral history interviews conducted by Danielle Sered of Irish women poets in 1999. The interviews were conducted in Ireland as part of the Emory University International Scholars Program. With each writer, Sered explores how contemporary Irish women's poetry writing enriches the reading of poetry as a whole, where do issues of nationality, religion, history, and gender intersect, how politics enter into poetry, and can poetryserve a healing function - personally, nationally, and globally.

Interviewees include Eva Bourke, Vona Groarke, Kerry Hardie, Anne Le Marquand Hartigan, Rita Ann Higgins, Medbh McGuckian, Paula Meehan, Mary O'Donnell, Sheila O'Hagan, Mary O'Malley, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.


Thomas Kinsella papers, 1951-2016, 56 linear feet 

The Thomas Kinsella papers are largely made up of manuscript drafts of poems from each of Kinsella's published collections, beginning with his earliest chapbooks published in 1952 and continuing through his Collected Poems (Carcanet), published in 2001. These extensive files of manuscripts drafts, typescripts, and proofs document in detail the development of Kinsella's poetry. Other materials related to the publication of his work is present in the files, including materials related to design, printing, and promotion of the work. A small number of letters are also present: usually correspondence also related to the publication or promotion of the work. In addition, the papers contain files related to his translation of Irish texts including files related to The Tain, An Duanaire, and the New Oxford Book of Irish Verse, as well as drafts of his critical study of Ireland's literary heritage, The Dual Tradition. The collection also contains clippings, scrapbooks, and a small number of photographs.


Michael Longley papers, 1960-2000, 40 linear feet

The collection consists of personal and literary papers of Michael Longley from 1960-2000. The bulk of the collection contains drafts, typescripts, and proofs of Longley's poems, essays, and prose pieces and works of other authors, most notably Seamus Heaney and Derek Mahon. The collection also contains correspondence, radio and film scripts, printed material, financial records, records relating to Longley's work for the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and papers of the influential literary critic Edna Longley.


Derek Mahon papers, 1948-2018, 48 linear feet

The Derek Mahon papers are composed of correspondence, literary manuscripts, collected printed material, photographs, audiovisual material, legal and financial papers, subject files, and ephemera from 1948-2018. The papers document Derek Mahon's creative work during the last thirty years. In addition, his writing for television and the stage, as well as his journalistic writing during this period (including his regular "Letter from New York" whichhe contributed to The Irish Times), are well documented. The papers also include correspondence with other literary figures, including: Samuel Beckett, Sara Berkeley, Douglas Dunn, Peter Fallon, Brian Friel, Eamon Grennan, Seamus Heaney, Anthony Hecht, Aidan Higgins, Michael Longley, W.S. Merwin, John Montague, Brian Moore, Harold Pinter, and James Simmons. Printed material, either by or about Derek Mahon or collected by him, is also present, as are photographs and financial papers from this same period


Joan McBreen papers, 1979-2007, 17.75 linear feet

The collection consists of the personal and literary papers of Joan McBreen from 1979-2007, documenting her career as a poet, anthology editor, and advocate for the increased awareness of Irish women poets. The papers include correspondence, writings by McBreen, writings by others, subject files, printed material, photographs, audiovisual material, and born digital material.

Much of the correspondence is to and from poets, friends, and her publishers, and is of both a personal and professional nature. The writings are primarily comprised of personal notebooks, collected and uncollected poetry, and dissertation notes and research. In addition, the series also contains a substantial amount of material relating to McBreen's editorial work on The White Page. The writings by others series is comprised of manuscripts and typescripts sent to McBreen, and are largely made up of individual poems and poetry collections, in addition to a small number of screen plays and essay drafts. Subject files document McBreen's involvement in numerous literary festivals and workshops, and also include some personal records, in addition to files on topics such as Irish politics and literary figures. Printed material consists of published material by McBreen, about McBreen, and general printed items collected by her. Photographs consist primarily of publicity photographs of McBreen and photos of individual contributors to The White Page. Audiovisual material consists solely of cassettes of recordings by McBreen's friend and fellow poet, Anne Kennedy.


Medbh McGuckian papers, 1964-2006, 50 linear feet

The Medbh McGuckian papers comprises the literary and personal papers of the poet Medbh McGuckian from 1964-2006. The bulk of the collection consists of drafts of McGuckian's own writings, including drafts of poems from her first collection, Single Ladies, through The Currach Requires No Harbours. Also present are extensive files of personal and literary correspondence, which contain letters from Nuala Archer, Gerald Dawe, Theo Dorgan, Paul Durcan,Tess Gallagher, Seamus Heaney, Rita Ann Higgins, Jennifer Johnston, Michael Longley, Joan McBreen, Paul Muldoon, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Dennis O'Driscoll, and others. The collection also includes writings by others (including student writing), subject files, collected printed material either by or about Medbh McGuckian, photographs, and sound recordings.


Paul Muldoon papers, 1939-2016, 59 linear feet 

The collection consists of the papers of Irish poet Paul Muldoon from 1939-2016, including correspondence, writings by Muldoon and others, printed material, business and personal papers, photographs and audiovisual material. The papers document Muldoon's creative work since the 1960s, including poetry, television and radio scripts for the BBC, drama and music. Correspondence in the collection consists primarily of letters to Muldoon from others, with only a few copies of letters written by Muldoon. The correspondence documents Muldoon's relationships with other Irish poets such as Ciaran Carson, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Derek Mahon. Writings by Muldoon include drafts, proofs and other materials relating to his work as a poet, translator, and lyricist, as well as various types of prose writing. Writings by others include works by other Irish poets, interviews with Muldoon, and essays and theses about Muldoon's work.

Printed material consists of published writings by and about Muldoon, published writings by other authors, as well as some collected publications. Promotional material includes posters, flyers, brochures and other printed material publicizing and promoting Muldoon's work, poetry readings and other appearances. Business and personal papers consist primarily of publishing contracts, but also contain materials such as Muldoon's curriculum vitae, travel itineraries, appointment books and royalty statements. Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Muldoon, along with family members, friends and colleagues. Finally, the audiovisual material in the collection consists of recordings of performances of Muldoon's work, and a small number of interviews with Muldoon and reviews of Muldoon's poetry.


Frank Ormsby papers, circa 1967-2012, 26.25 linear feet

The Frank Ormsby papers consist of the poet-editor's personal and literary papers from 1968 to 2012. These papers catalog Ormsby's literary career as a poet, an anthologist, and a long-term editor of The Honest Ulsterman. The collection focuses on two interconnected areas of Ormsby's literary life. On one hand, the papers highlight Ormsby's output as a poet, a writer about poetry, and an editor-anthologist. On the other hand, this collection is notable for its materials relating to The Honest Ulsterman and Ormsby's role as editor of this magazine, which played an important role in the late twentieth century literary culture of Northern Ireland. Correspondents include Ciaran Carson, Peter Fallon, Seamus Heaney, John Hewitt, Kathleen Jamie, Edna and Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, Tom Paulin, Carol Rumens, and James Simmons, among many others. Other important materials include worksheets by Norman Dugdale, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon, Bernard MacLaverty, and James Simmons from meetings of the Belfast Group in 1971-1972. Photographs of many of the personages whose work is represented in this collection are arranged in a separate series. Unprocessed additions include writings by Ormsby, writings by others including Michael Longley and James Simmons, correspondence, and printed material.


Tom Paulin papers, 1969-2008, 51 linear feet 

The collection consists of the papers of Irish poet and critic Tom Paulin from 1969-2008. The papers include correspondence; manuscript writings by Paulin including poems, translations, prose and criticism; manuscript writings of others; printed material by and about Paulin; photographs and audiovisual material; personal files and subject files. The collection also contains files relating to Paulin's involvement with the Field Day Theatre Company.


W.B. Yeats collection, 1875-1965 (bulk 1890-1939), 1.75 linear feet 

The collection consists of literary manuscripts, holograph notes in and emendations to published texts, letters, and photographs relating to William Butler Yeats. Materials date from 1875 to 1965, but most come from the period ca. 1890-1939. These items have been grouped together from various sources by virtue of their authorship by William Butler Yeats or their relationship to him.

Among the literary manuscripts are holograph and typescript drafts and fair copies of Yeats's poetry and plays, including numerous corrections, deletions, and additions written or typed in to several published works. Prose includes a corrected typescript of his More Memories, which describes his part in the formation of the Irish Literary Society and the Irish national theater which as to become the Abbey Theatre. Also included are twenty-nine letters (1887-1938), from Yeats to various of his acquaintances, in which he discusses his poetic and dramatic works, Irish politics, the Abbey Theatre, and his personal life. Many of the letters are addressed to his longtime friend and compatriot Lady Gregory.