What makes a place a home? Is it family? A location that becomes inextricably linked to significant life experiences? Walking streets that become so familiar that you can retrace them in your mind?

In Home Thoughts, poet Gerald Dawe and singer Eleanor Shanley explore the idea of ‘home’ in poetry, prose and song. Listen to the show in full above.

Poet Gerald Dawe was born in Belfast in 1952 and remembers the city becoming a place of suspicion and violence in the early years of the Troubles. He taught at University College Galway for ten years, moving to Dublin in 1988 where he taught at Trinity College Dublin for almost 30 years, living in rooms in college before settling with his family in Dun Laoghaire. In this programme, he reads a selection of the poetry and prose that he has written over four decades about his experience of these different places that became home to him.

Listen to the opening section of Home Thoughts:

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The reading include extracts from his book The Stoic Man: Poetry Memoirs, published by Lagan Press, and poems from his collection Early Poems, also published by Lagan Press, and Sunday School, Mickey Finn’s Air and Selected Poems, published by Gallery Press.

Eleanor Shanley is a folk singer renowned for her unique interpretation of Irish and Roots songs. A former singer with De Danann, she has also recorded with The Dubliners, U2 and many more. Accompanied by guitarist Donogh Hennessy, she performs gorgeous renditions of songs connected with Northern Ireland (I’ll tell me ma, Carrickfergus), Galway (Galway to Graceland) and Dublin (Raglan Road), all interwoven with Gerald Dawe’s readings.

Part performance, part meditation, Home Thoughts is a nostalgic and thoughtful exploration of the places that Gerald Dawe has called home.

Listen to more from The Lyric Feature here.