Born in Co Tipperary, Ireland, in 1954, his nine books of poetry include New and Selected Poems (Anvil Press, 2004), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, Reality Check (2007) and Dear Life (Anvil Press, 2012; Copper Canyon Press, 2013). Among his other publications are Troubled Thoughts, Majestic Dreams: Selected Prose Writings (Gallery Press, 2001) and Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney (Faber and Faber [UK] and Farrar Straus & Giroux [USA], 2008). His forthcoming books are The Outnumbered Poet: Critical and Autobiographical Essays (Gallery Press) and, as editor, A Michael Hamburger Reader (Anvil Press). He is editor of the Bloodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations (2006) and its American counterpart, Quote Poet Unquote (Copper Canyon Press, 2008). His awards include Lannan Literary Awards, the E.M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry from the Center for Irish Studies in Minnesota, and the Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in literature by University College, Dublin in 2009.
Dear Life is Dennis O’Driscoll’s ninth book of poetry. Like his earlier work, it engages with contemporary issues—the internet era, the compensation culture, global warming—as well as providing fresh perspectives on the timeless topics of working and ageing, loving and dying, God and Mammon. Several startling poems give voice to twenty-first century Western attitudes towards religious belief. With its wry, double-edged title, the title sequence ‘Dear Life’ attempts nothing less than an exploration of the nature and purpose of human life.
"It takes a special genius to see the real and important lurking in the mundanely routine—O’Driscoll, the Irish Larkin, does. This most astute of poets juxtaposes the soul of the artist with the exactness of the anthropologist; the result is work of meditative intelligence, humour and forgiving humanity."
—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
Anvil Press Poetry