RTÉ Arena celebrated the life and work of Galway poet Kevin Higgins, who has died aged 55, with a recording of him reading his poem The Piece With The Drums - listen above.

"Kevin was a poet who had read enormously widely of the work of poets writing in English, Irish and from different countries," said President Michael D. Higgins in a statement. "His work includes that published by Salmon Poetry in collections such as 'The Boy With No Face', ‘Time Gentlemen, Please’, ‘Frightening New Furniture’, ‘The Ghost In The Lobby’ and ‘Sex and Death at Merlin Park Hospital’ – were valuable contemporary contributions that had a directness to it that was unsparing, but not at a cost of finely worked poems.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Listen: Kevin Higgins reads My Wishes For You

President Higgins added: "Indeed, I cannot think of anyone who did more to bring the public to appreciation and joy of poetry, to make the case for performed poetry, and who encouraged others to read broadly and, most of all, to make poems and find their meaning in their lives.

"He gave generously to so many through his poetry workshops, poetry slams and creative writing classes in Galway Arts Centre, GMIT and the University of Galway."

Read Kevin Higgins' final poem below.

Tune into RTÉ Arena live nightly from Mon-Fri on RTÉ Radio 1 from 7 pm - or listen back here.