Derek Mahon was born in Belfast in 1941, studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and the Sorbonne, and has held journalistic and academic appointments in London and New York. A member of Aosdána, he has received numerous awards including the Irish Academy of Letters Award, the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize, and Lannan and Guggenheim Fellowships.
Publications from The Gallery Press include The Hudson Letter, The Yellow Book, Words in the Air (bilingual, with the French of Philippe Jaccottet), Birds (a translation of Oiseaux by Saint-John Perse), Harbour Lights (2005) (Winner of the Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2006) Adaptations (2006), Life on Earth (2008, winner of the Irish Times Poetry Now Award), An Autumn Wind (2010), New Collected Poems (2011), Raw Material (2011, a selection of translations), Selected Prose (2012), Echo’s Grove (2013, selected and new translations), Red Sails (2014, prose), New Selected Poems (2016) and, in September 2017 a new collection of short essays, Olympia and the Internet and The Rain Bridge (A Story for Rory, illustrated by Sarah Iremonger).
His work for the theatre includes versions of Moliere’s The School for Wives and High Time, Racine’s Phaedra, The Bacchae (after Euripides), Cyrano de Bergerac (a new version of Rostand’s ‘heroic comedy’) which was produced at London’s National Theatre in April, 2004 and Oedipus (after Sophocles) published in October 2005. In 2013 his collected plays, Theatre, was published.
Somewhere the Wave a special limited edition of poems, with drawings and watercolours by Bernadette Kiely was published in 2008.
He received the David Cohen Prize 2007 for recognition of a lifetime’s achievement in literature.
Click on the links below to see videos of Derek Mahon reading some of his poetry.