‘Peter Fallon’s poetry has become very tough and alive, like a just-cut holly stick. Snappy and weighty. Very strong, sharp savour — and where do you find that these days.’ — Ted Hughes
Peter Fallon was born in Germany in 1951 and grew up on his uncle’s farm near Kells in County Meath. He is an Honours Graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where, in 1994, he was Writer in Residence and where he has been Adjunct Professor of English.
At the age of eighteen he founded The Gallery Press which has published more than four hundred books of poems and plays by the country’s finest established and emerging authors and which is recognized as Ireland’s pre-eminent literary publishing house.
Peter Fallon has given readings all over the US, in Europe, Canada, and Japan. In 1990 he edited, with Derek Mahon, the best-selling anthology The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry. Following Peter’s collection Eye to Eye in 1992, his selected poems, News of the World, was published by Wake Forest University Press in 1993. An expanded edition, News of the World: Selected and New Poems, was published in Ireland in 1998 and was included in The Irish Times ‘Books of the Year’.
The Georgics of Virgil, (a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation), and a dramatization of Tarry Flynn, the novel by Patrick Kavanagh, were published in 2004. The Georgics was subsequently published by Oxford in its World’s Classics series. In 2017 he turned his hand to a poem by Hesiod (c.700 bce) Deeds and Their Days (2017). His most recent poetry collections are The Company of Horses (2007) and Strong, My Love (2014).
Peter Fallon received the 1993 O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the Irish American Cultural Institute. He was the inaugural Heimbold Professor of Irish Studies at Villanova University and has been Burns Professor at Boston College. He is a member of Aosdána and Honorary Member of the RHA. He lives in Loughcrew in County Meath where he farmed for many years.
‘I have the greatest liking for Peter Fallon’s poetry. It does not filter the world of the small farm for some urban reader; rather it takes him there. It does so without sentimentality, giving us for instance the brute weariness of farm work (Pastorale) as well as the triumph of work well done (The Old Masters). On the whole, Fallon’s words move artfully within the lexicon of the rural town; their poetry is in the rightness of naming and describing, the exact ear for the beat and savor of country speech, the honest tuning of the poet’s feeling toward his chosen place. ‘ — Richard Wilbur