Derek Mahon

Born:
  • Northern Ireland

Biography

Derek Mahon was born in Belfast in 1941.

He studied French Literature at Trinity College, Dublin, and at the Sorbonne, then lived for a time in London, where he worked adapting literary texts for television adaptation, and as poetry editor of the New Statesman.

His plays include two adaptations from Molière - The School for Wives: a play in 2 Acts after Molière (1986) and High Time, after Molière's The School for Husbands (1985); and The Bacchae (1991), after Euripides. He also wrote the screenplay, Summer Lightning, which is based on Turgenev's First Love and was broadcast on Channel 4 in 1985.

He has translated several works, including Racine's Phaedra (1996); Selected Poems/Philippe Jaccottet (1987), winner of the 1987 Scott-Manriet Translation Prize and the 1989 Moncrieff Translation Prize; The Chimeras (1982), a version of Gérard Nerval's Les Chimeres; and Birds (2002), a version of Oiseaux by Saint John-Perse.

He has published many poetry collections, including a Collected Poems in 1999; The Yellow Book (1997); Harbour Lights (2005); and Life on Earth (2008), shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize (Canada) in 2009.

He is also the editor of Modern Irish Poetry (1972) and co-edited the Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry in 1990. He is a member of Aosdána, and lives in Dublin.

Bibliography

An Autumn Wind
Life on Earth
Homage to Gaia
Somewhere the Wave
Art Notes
Adaptations
Harbour Lights
Oedipus
Cyrano de Bergerac/Edmond Rostand
Birds/Saint John-Perse
The Seaside Cemetery
Resistance Days
Collected Poems
Words in the Air/Philippe Jaccottet
The Yellow Book
Journalism: Selected Prose 1970-1995
Phaedra/Racine
The Hudson Letter
The Yaddo Letter
Selected Poems
The Bacchae/after Euripides
The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry
Night Without Day/Raphaële Billetdoux
Selected Poems/Philippe Jaccottet
The School for Wives: a play in 2 Acts after Molière
High Time
Antarctica
A Kensington Notebook
The Chimeras
The Hunt by Night
Courtyards in Delft
The Sea in Winter
Poems 1962-1978
Light Music
In Their Element
The Snow Party
Modern Irish Poetry
Lives
Roman Script
Ecclesiastes
Beyond Howth Head
Night-Crossing
Twelve Poems

Awards

2009
Griffin Poetry Prize (Canada)
2007
David Cohen British Literature Prize
2006
Irish Times Poetry Now Award
1995
Guggenheim Fellowship
1992
Irish Times/Aer Lingus Poetry Prize
1990
Lannan Literature Award (Poetry)
1989
Moncrieff Translation Prize
1987
American Ireland Fund Literary Award
1987
Scott-Manriet Translation Prize
1965
Eric Gregory Award