Ní Dhomhnaill can weave together comedy and darkness, confrontation with casual chat. Her poems can be reflective lyrics or sprawling narrtaives, incantatory or wisecracking.
— Lavinia Greenlaw, Contemporary Women Poets
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Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was born in 1952 and grew up in the Irish-speaking areas of West Kerry and in Tipperary. She studied English and Irish at University College, Cork and became part of a group of Irish language poets who were published in the literary magazine Innti. She now lives in Dublin.
She has published four collections of poems in Irish, An Dealg Droighin (1981), Féar Suaithinseach (1984), Feis (1991) and Cead Aighnis (1998).
The Gallery Press has published five collections of her poems, with translations into English, Pharoah’s Daughter (translations by thirteen writers, 1990), The Astrakhan Cloak (translations by Paul Muldoon, 1992), The Water Horse (translations by Medbh McGuckian and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, 1999), The Fifty Minute Mermaid (translations by Paul Muldoon, 2007) and Northern Lights (translations by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Peter Fallon, Eamon Grennan, Bernard O’Donoghue and Dennis O’Driscoll, 2018).
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill held the Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies at Villanova University in 2001 and has taught at Boston College and New York University. She has received many scholarships, prizes, and bursaries and has also won numerous international awards for works which have been translated into French, German, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, Estonian, Turkish, Japanese and English. In 2018 she was awarded the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award (click here for citation). She was the first woman selected for this honour.
She is a member of Aosdána and was Ireland Professor of Poetry (2001-2004).
Poems in Irish by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill with translations into English by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Peter Fallon, Eamon Grennan, Bernard O’Donoghue and Dennis O’Driscoll.