Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bernard O'Donoghue

In today's Guardian, Caitriona O'Reilly reviews the newly published Selected Poems by one of the most attractive and accessible, yet least feted, contemporary Irish poets, Bernard O'Donoghue. O'Donoghue has lived in England for most of his life, and for many years has taught at Wadham College, Oxford (a medievalist, his version of the great epic Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was published by Penguin Classics in 2006).

His own verse is elegant, understated - a slow burn. He can be heard reading his poem 'Tea Dolls' and 'Geese Conversations' on a Bodlean Library 'bodcast' here. O'Reilly says rightly that the poems are 'clever and self-conscious, but blessedly uncontaminated by the abstract language of ideas or by brittle academic rhetoric'.

O'Donoghue was interviewed on this week on Monday's Start the Week (BBC Radio 4) with Andrew Marr (available on Listen Again).

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