The Poetry Programme on Sunday 29th November, at 7:30 pm on RTÉ Radio 1, celebrates the poetry of the late Derek Mahon, with contributions from Gerald Dawe, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Sinéad Morrissey and Peter Fallon.

Derek Mahon was born in Belfast in 1941. A member of Aosdána, he received numerous awards including the Irish Academy of Letters Award, the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize, and Lannan and Guggenheim Fellowships.

Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon of Gallery Press

In recognition of his 'lifetime's achievement’ Derek Mahon received the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2007. He published many works with The Gallery Press, including the collection Washing Up, published on 29 October 2020. 

Derek Mahon died at home in Kinsale, County Cork, on 2 October 2020.

Gerald Dawe

In this programme, four poets speak of their admiration of Mahon’s work.

Fellow Belfast poets Gerald Dawe and Sinéad Morrissey, and former Ireland Chair of Poetry Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, read short essays, while Peter Fallon reads an extract from the eulogy which he delivered at Derek Mahon’s funeral.

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We also hear recordings of Derek Mahon reading his own poems from the CD set Derek Mahon – Open Air – Selected Poems 1960-2005, issued by Claddagh Records.

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

You can also look forward to a rebroadcast of Lorelei Harris's 2001 documentary of Derek Mahon’s work The Hudson Letter, featuring actor Stephen Rea, on Sunday 27th December at 6 pm on RTÉ lyric fm.

The Poetry Programme, Sunday, November 29th at 7.30 pm on RTÉ Radio 1 - listen back here.