Seán Lysaght was born in 1957 and grew up in Limerick. He was educated at UCD where he received a BA and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature. He subsequently spent several years abroad, in Switzerland and Germany, before teaching at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He now lectures at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and lives with his wife Jessica in Westport, County Mayo.
His first collection of poetry, Noah’s Irish Ark was published in 1989, followed by The Clare Island Survey (Gallery, 1991).
Between 1990 and 1994 he lectured in English at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. His work on the life and writings of Robert Lloyd Praeger: The Life of a Naturalist was published by Four Courts Press in 1998. His verse narrative of the life of Edmund Spenser was published under his own imprint in 2011.
His subsequent collections, Scarecrow (1998), Erris (2002), The Mouth of a River (2007), Venetian Epigrams (2008, translations after Goethe), Selected Poems (2010) and Carnival Masks (2014) are all published by The Gallery Press.
In 2007 he received the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.
An extract from the citation read at the presentation of the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry (2007) of the University of St Thomas (St Paul, Minnesota) Center for Irish Studies on Thursday, 12 April:
‘Seán Lysaght, an artist whose poetry is inseparable from his engagement with Ireland’s natural surroundings. Lysaght’s poems abound with alert perceptions of Ireland’s west, where he makes his home — its mountains, bogs, and beaches, its flora, and its birdlife. We will understand his work best (and, he reminds us, will understand our own lives best) if we remember that it rests on the bedrock of the natural world. Still, to call him merely an “environmental” writer would be to underestimate his many achievements — his years of teaching, his essays, his scholarship, and his four collections of poetry . . . Tonight, we thank our guest for a literary achievement that charts a progressively more comprehensive understanding of what is meant by the word “environment”. His work brings us not just to the natural world, but also to the environment of the imagination, the environment of language, the environment of literature and of the world’s store of legend and tale.’ — read by Dr Maris Kelly, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Click here for Minnesota Public Radio’s interview with Seán Lysaght.
Stonechat – Seán Lysaght’s blog