Patrick Kavanagh (1904-67)


1904: b. Patrick Joseph Kavanagh, 21 Oct., in Mucker townland, Parish of Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan [vars.: 22 Oct. in Iniskeen baptismal book, and 23 in civil register]; fourth child of James [Cavanagh], a small farmer and cobbler with sixteen acres, and Bridget (née Quinn), James being the illeg. son of Peter Kevany of Castletown, Co. Sligo, ed. Royal Albert Agricultural School, Glasnevin; siblings included Annie and Mary; appt. principal of Kednaminsha & Rocksavage Nat. School; met Nancy Callan of Inniskeen, a young widow then acting as servant to the McEnteggart household where he lodged; dismissed for co-habitating with Nancy, Kavanagh’s grandmother, 1855; their son James brought up by Nancy and female siblings when Peter was forced to leave after dismissal by the Education Commissioners on information from W. S. Trench [q.v.] in his capacity as landlord [agent]; James made sufficient money as a cobbler to rebuilt the family house when Patrick was five; PK ed. at Kednaminsha Nat. School up to 1916 [aetat. 12]; influenced by Canon Bernard Maguire, PP; began writing privately; his earliest poems were published by Dundalk Democrat and Weekly Independent, 1928; three poems were printed by George Russell in The Irish Statesman during 1929-30; his poem “The Ploughman” was incl. in Best Poems of 1930, by ed. Thomas Moult (ed. at Jonathan Cape);
1931: appt. Captain and Treasurer of the GAA team, but dismissed for petty embezzlement [for cigs.] in 1932; poems “Beech Tree”, “The Goat of Slieve Donard”, and “To a Child” pub. in Dublin Magazine (Oct-Dec 1931); frequently contrib. to same up to 1939; “Ascetic” printed in John O’London’s (May 1931); “To a Blackbird” and “Gold Watch” pub. in Spectator (resp. 9 May & 20 June 1931); walked to Dublin to meet George [“AE”] Russell, 18-20 [June], arriving at a time when Russell was enduring the final illness of his wife; introduced to Frank O’Connor by Russell, then departing from Ireland; his first complete sexual experience, aetat. 30 [with a girl prev. abused by a priest]; contr. “Journeyman Shoemaker” to The Irish Times, in 1936; issued Ploughman and Other Poems (Macmillan 1936); moved to London in search of literary work, May 1937; encouraged by Helen Waddell to write The Green Fool (1938), an autobiographical novel published by Michael Joseph in May 1938; suppressed after court action initiated by Oliver St. John Gogarty in view of allusion to his ‘mistress’ opening the door to Kavanagh’s knock; contrib. two talks to "Undiscovered Ulster" series for BBC NI (Belfast) in Oct. 1938; experienced hunger pains in London;
1939: returned to Dublin, August 1939, facing into war-time restrictions (‘the worst mistake of my life’); wrote Lough Derg, 1942 (publ. 1971); as “Piers Plowman”, contrib. ‘City Commentary’ to the Irish Press, 14 Sept. 1942-18 Feb. 1944; contrib. “The Old Peasant”, being excerpts from “The Great Hunger” [Sects. 1-3; opening of Sect. 4] to Horizon (Jan. 1942) [Irish issue]; unfounded rumours of copies being seized by Irish police at customs on behalf of Censorship Board; visited by gardai, prob. in connection with hostile commentary on neutral Ireland in Horizon; unwittingly earned official disfavour by his conduct and attire at an Aras an Uachtaráin garden party, July 1943; contrib. occas. reviews and features for The Irish Times (ed. Bertie Smyllie); also contrib. to Irish Independent, ed. Frank Geary; refused to contribute to Contemporary Irish Poetry, ed. Robert Greacen and Valentin Iremonger (1943) - the former having reviewed “The Great Hunger” savagely in Horizon [ed. Cyril Connolly], where it first appeared; contrib. ‘The Literary Scene’, a column, to The Standard, ed. Peadar O’Curry (26 Feb.-11 June 1943), writing sternly about the Literary revival;

1945: living in some hardship at 19, Raglan Rd.; mother d., 15 Nov. 1945; resumed working for The Standard as staff journalist, 1945, through influence of archbishops of Dublin and Tuam; contrib. funeral reports and on innocuous notices on religious matters (‘You couldn’t work for a so-called Catholic newspaper without being an atheist’; issued A Soul for Sale (1947); contrib. increasingly to The Bell, ed. Peadar O’Donnell, and appt. Asst. Ed. by him, 1947; became film-critic at Standard in lieu of full post, thus avoiding severance, May 1947; issued “Coloured Balloons”, an article on Frank O’Connor in The Bell (Dec. 1947), criticising the mawkish sympathy of “Guests of the Nation” and characterising the author as being ‘more and more poised on the ridge-tiles of the literary house of cards’; contrib. four extracts from Tarry Flynn to The Bell, 1947; abstained from Roger McHugh and Valentin Iremonger’s protests against Abbey standards (‘two publicity chancers’), Dec 1947;


1948: his “Bones of the Dead: Reflections on the Gaelic Language”, printed as letter in The Bell (Jan. 1948), for precautionary reasons (‘humbug revival of Gaelic’); issued Tarry Flynn (1948), more realistic than the former autobiography, and called by him ‘not only the best but the only authentic account of life as it was lived in Ireland this century’ - initially banned and reissued in 1962; “The Paddiad or the Devil as Patron of Irish Letters” appeared in Horizon; includes satires on Higgins, Clarke, F. R. Higgins, and others as Paddy Whiskey, Paddy Rum and Gin, Paddy of the Celtic Mist, Paddy Connemara West - himself being ‘Paddy Conscience’ [rep. Coll. Poems, p.90]; stage adaptation by P. J. O’Connor, Abbey 1967; contrib. film-reviews, to The Standard; ‘Letter on Irish Censorship’, Kavanagh’s lecture tour grant of Cultural Relations Committee, granted May 1951, vetoed by Frank Aiken, Aug. 1951; with Anthony Cronin, John Ryan, and Paddy Swift, he drank in celebration at the accidental destruction of the Abbey Theatre by fire (‘It gave great pleasure to all the right people’); contributed ‘Diary’ to Envoy, ed. John Ryan (Dec. 1949-Jan. 1951); submitted a collection of his prose to Burnes & Oates, 1951 (rejected and now lost); gave two BBC poetry talks (London: Feb. & Aug. 1951);

1952: edited and largely wrote the outspoken paper Kavanagh’s Weekly, financed, designed and distributed by his brother Peter [contrib. as ‘John L. Flanagan’] whom he persuaded to invest his savings; subtitled ‘a journal of literature and politics’ (13 issues; 12 April-5 July 1952); contrib. most of the articles and poems, usually under a variety of pseudonyms; berates Irish ‘mediocracy’; includes “I Had a Future” and “Having Confessed” and the well-known passage in which he favourably distinguishes ‘parochialism’ from ‘provincialism’; vehemently opposed Fianna Fáil and critical of Ireland’s economic and cultural achievements since Independence; subsisted on two advertisers; donation of £1,000 sought in penultimate number not forthcoming; rendered unhireable as journalist by this venture; resumes employment with “Sporting Prints”, an anonymous series of rural reminiscence for Irish Press, 1954; took an unsuccessful action against The Leader, then being edited by Brian Inglis, for a profile which he supposed to have been written by Valentin Iremonger and Desmond Williams perhaps with Brendan Behan’s help, Feb. 1954; lost his suit against the Leader after a harsh cross-examination by Fine Gael ex-Taoiseach John A. Costello acting for the Leader, 1954; spent three days in the witness box, during which he hotly denied knowing Brendan Behan - only to be confronted with a copy of a book enscribed ‘to my friend Brendan on the day he painted my flat’, and thereby lost the confidence of the jury - and the case; contrib. review of The Vanishing Irish by John Anthony O’Brien to Creation (Oct. 1954);
1955: secured lecturing employment at UCD through intervention of John A. Costello (then Taoiseach); cancer diagnosed; lung removed at the Rialto [Chest] Hospital, 31 March 1955; lects. include “Studies in the Technique of Poetry” [4th lect.., UCD 1956]; experienced spiritual renewal during convalescence and came to see 1955 as ‘the year of [his] hegira’ from ‘the simplicity’ of his Monaghan youth to the ‘simplicity’ of ‘comic vision’; compiled prose pieces as Some Evocations of No Importance and Other Pieces (bound typescript in UCD Archive), Sept. 1955; broadcast his Hospital Notebook on RTÉ, 4 Sept. 1955 [online]; of submitted prose collection arranged in nine chapters as The Forgiven Plough (88pp. typescript) in response to grant from Arts Council, engineered by John A. Costello, Oct. 1956; appt. extra-mural lecturer at UCD (£400 p.a.) and gave 10-lectures series at UCD during 1956 - extracts of which are incl. in November Haggard; poems published in Nimbus, London (April 1956), a magazine edited by Patrick Swift who had found him with an embryonic collection on a Dublin visit of Jan. 1956; MS - signed or Jimmy Swift, seen by John McGahern; published in Nimbus with a introductory note by Anthony Cronin (by PK offered a monthly column in Creation, May 1957; contrib. weekly to Irish Farmers’ Journal (14 June 1958-9 March 1963); issued Recent Poems (1958) in Peter Kavanagh’s Hand Press; contrib. monthly column to Creation (July 1959-Jan. 1960) and contrib. a monthly column to National Observer (July 1959-Jan. 1960), a Fine Gael organ, having cultivated John A. Costello and antagonised Fianna Fail; fell into the Grand Canal, Sept. 1959, claiming to have been pushed, and was restored by Patricia Murphy [née Avis; m. Richard Murphy], who lived nearby at Wilton Place; contrib. afterwards the essays “Nationalism and Literature”, “Violence and Literature”, and “Suffering and Literature” to her journal Non-plus [of which three issues from Oct. 1959]; contrib. “From Monaghan to The Grand Canal”, in Studies (Spring 1959);
1960: issued Come Dance with Kitty Stobling (1960), poems; stayed with Elizabeth (“Betty”) and James O’Toole at 47 Priory Grove, Stillorgan (Co. Dublin) recuperating from alcoholism; recorded Self-Portrait (Radio Telefís Éireann 30 Oct. 1962; publ. Dolmen 1964), in the series of that name, his auto-queued - but seemingly spontaneous - broadcast being pub. by Dolmen Press in 1964; MacGibbon & Kee issued Collected Poems (1964), the selection having been made by Martin Green [var. John Montague with the co-operation of Kavanagh’s publisher friends at MacGibbon & Kee - see note]; interviewed by Proinsias Mac Aonghusa, RTÉ, 12 Oct. 1964; 9-min. interview with Peter Duval Smith (BBC, 18 Aug. 1964); contrib. weekly to RTV Guide, ed. Jim McGuinness (17 Jan. 1964-30 June 1967); spoke at QUB Students’ Union, 27 Nov. 1964, turning truculent about payment afterwards; lectured at Northwestern University, USA, 1965; his collected prose issued by MacGibbon & Kee as Collected Pruse (1967), a title of his own choosing, having been selected by Niall Sheridan for the publisher in 1965, incorporating Some Evocations and parts of The Forgiven Plough (including ‘aphorisms’ from the Envoy ‘Diary’ and newly entitled ‘Signposts’); fell in love with Kath[a]rine Barry Maloney, a neice of Kevin Barry and a close friend of Kavanagh’s for some years in London, having met each other in Leland Bardwell’s flat; m. April 1967; Kavanagh sustained by a British Council Grant in latter years - the Irish Arts Council abstaining from any support; returned to Dublin together; issued Collected Pruse (1967); attended numerous performances of Tarry Flynn, the stage-production of his novel adapted by P. J. O’Connor and dir. by Tomás Mac Anna, with Donal McCann in the lead (Abbey Th., 1966); travelled to Dundalk for provincial tour of Tarry Flynn, and fell ill at the theatre, where he was met by siblings Annie and Mary, who moved him to their house in Mucker; expressed wish to be buried in Inishkeen (‘I have a feeling of death on me’); taken to nursing home on Merrion St., Dublin, and died after a brief recovery, d. 30 Nov. 1967; funeral service held at St. Mary’s Church, Haddington Rd., followed by burial in Iniskeen, 2 Dec. 2967; interview conducted by Diarmaid Ó Muithile with his acquaintance in McDaid’s pub, broadcast on RTE 3 Dec. 1967; a tribute by Michael O'hAodha appeared in the RTE Guide on 8 Dec. 1967.
Posthumous: John Montague read poems at his grave and wrote a tribute in the Irish Times (2 Dec. 1967); The Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry was founded in 1971; The Great Hunger was dramatised by Tom MacIntyre, and staged to great acclaim in Dublin (Abbey 1983), dir. by Patrick Mason with Tom Hickey in lead; toured successfully in London, New York; a full-scale figure of Kavanagh seated on a Canal Bench was unveiled in situ by Mary Robinson in 1991; the standard biography is by Antoinette Quinn while an uncompleted biography by Augustine Martin was in preparation at his death in 1996; Tarry Flynn adapted by Conall Morrison (Abbey; May 26, 1997) with Coiscéim Co. dancers and roles for both Tarry and Kavanagh himself, touring successfully to Lyttelton Theatre, London; commemorated in “The Pool in Which the Poet Dips”, ed. Bernard Clarke, 21 Oct. 2004; Katharine bur. with Kavanagh in Iniskeen, 1989; his papers are held in the National Library of Ireland; there is a Patrick Kavanagh Week at Inishkeen in late September annually. NCBE IF2 DIB DIW DIH DIL G20 OCEL HAM DUB OCIL

BBC “Arena” Arts Programme with the collaboration of RTE:

Three Irish Writers [Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh, and Brendan Behan", in BBC Arena series; written and presented by Anthony Cronin (1991) - available at YouTube - online; see also shorter edition - online [accessed 21.05.2019].

RTE Archives:

A b&w film from the RTÉ Archives recording of the burial of Patrick Kavanagh is available online.

BK on PK
SH on PK
See RTÉ tribute to Kavanagh with contributions by Brendan Kennelly and Seamus Heaney (30 Nov. 1987) - available online. Associated page-links include interviews with those who knew him onducted by Diarmaid O Muirthile in McDaid’s pub, including Hayden Murphy [‘he was a great man’]. (RTE broadcast, 3 Dec. 1967 - online.)

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Ploughman and Other Poems (London: Macmillan 1936); The Great Hunger (Dublin: Cuala Press 1942); A Soul for Sale (London: Macmillan 1947), 55pp.; Recent Poems (Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1958); Come Come Dance With Kitty Stobling and Other Poems (London: Longmans, Green & Co 1960); Lough Derg [1971] (Newbridge, Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1978; London: MacGibbon & Kee 1979).

Selected & Collected editions

Collected Poems of Patrick Kavanagh (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1964; 1968, 1972), xv, 202pp. [with Author’s Note, xiii-iv, and Bibl. Note, xv; ded. To my Brother / Peter Kavanagh; contents]; Peter Kavanagh, ed., Patrick Kavanagh: Man and Poet [Nat. Poetry Found.] (Orono: Maine UP 1986); Peter Kavanagh, ed., The Complete Poems (Newbridge: Goldsmith Press 1990); Antoinette Quinn, ed., Selected Poems (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1996).

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A Chronology of Kavanagh’s chief publications in verse and prose
  • Ploughman and Other Poems (London: Macmillan 1936).
  • The Green Fool (London: Michael Joseph 1938),
  • The Great Hunger (Dublin: Cuala Press 1942).
  • A Soul for Sale (London: Macmillan 1947), 55pp..
  • Tarry Flynn (London: Pilot Press 1948; NY: Devin 1949)
  • Recent Poems (Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1958);
  • Come Come Dance With Kitty Stobling and Other Poems (London: Longmans, Green & Co 1960).
  • Collected Poems of Patrick Kavanagh (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1964; 1968).
  • Self Portrait (Dublin: Dolmen 1964), 31pp., ill. [photos by Liam Miller];
  • Collected Pruse (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1967).
  • Lapped Furrows: Correspondence, 1933-67 (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1968)
  • November Haggard: Uncollected Prose and Verse (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1972).
  • By Night Unstarred (Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1977).
  • Love’s Tortured Headland (NY Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1978).
  • Peter Kavanagh, ed., Patrick Kavanagh: Man and Poet Orono: Univ. of Maine, 1986)
  • Peter Kavanagh, ed., The Complete Poems (Newbridge: Goldsmith Press 1990); Antoinette Quinn, ed., Selected Poems (Harmondsworth: Penguin 1996).
  • Antoinette Quinn, ed., A Poet’s Country: Selected Prose of Patrick Kavanagh (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2002), 352pp.
Also Tom MacIntyre, The Great Hunger: Poem into Play, Essay and Texts (Mullingar: Lilliput 1988).

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  • The Green Fool (London: Michael Joseph 1938), Do. [rep. edn.] (London: Martin Brian & O’Keeffe 1971; Harmonsworth: Penguin 1976);
  • Tarry Flynn (London: Pilot Press 1948; NY: Devin 1949); Do. [rep. edn.] (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1965, 1972), 256pp.; and Do. [another edn.] (London: Mayflower 1969).
  • Self-portrait [Dolmen XXV; No. 70] (Dublin: Dolmen Press 1964); Do. (Penn: Dufour Press 1964) [orig. RTE 24 Oct. 1962], and Do. [2nd edn.] (Dublin: Dolmen Press 1975), 30 [2]pp,, ill. [18.4cm.]; rep. in A Poet's Country: Selected Prose, ed. Antoinette Quinn (Dublin: Lilliput 2003), p.305-16.
  • November Haggard: Uncollected Prose and Verse (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1972);
  • Peter Kavanagh, ed., By Night Unstarred (Kildare: Goldsmith Press [1977]), and Do. [another edn. (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press [1977]), xxii, 175pp. [ltd. edn. of 300 signed copies];
  • Collected Pruse (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1967, 1973), 287pp., front. port. from drawing by Seán O’Sullivan;
  • A Poet’s Country: Selected Prose of Patrick Kavanagh, ed. Antoinette Quinn (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2003), 352pp.
Articles [selected]
  • ‘Poetry in Ireland Today’, in The Bell, XVI, 1 (April 1948);
  • ‘Bones of the Dead: Reflections on the Gaelic Language’ [as letter], in The Bell (Jan. 1948), pp.62-64;
  • ‘Letter on Irish Censorship’, in New Statesman, XXXVII, 935 (5 February 1949), p.130 [see responses, infra];
  • ‘Paris in Aran’, Kavanagh’s Weekly [Vol. 1, No. 9] (7 June 1952), p.7 [see under Synge, infra]:
  • ‘A Goat Tethered outside the Bailey’, in The Bell (Sept. 1953), pp.27-33, rep. in A Poet’s Country: Selected Prose of Patrick Kavanagh, ed. Antoinette Quinn (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2003), pp.238-42 [rep. as ‘The Irish Tradition’, in Collected Pruse as given thus in Mark Storey, ed., Poetry and Ireland since 1800: A Source Book, London: Routledge 1988, pp.197-200].
  • ‘From Monaghan to The Grand Canal’, in Studies (Spring 1959) [rep. in Peter Kavanagh, ed., Patrick Kavanagh: Man and Poet, Maine UP 1986, c.p.249].

See also Kavanagh, ‘Auden and the Creative Mind’, in Envoy, 5, 19 (June 1951), c.p.35.

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A Bibliography of Articles by Patrick Kavanagh as listed in Sr. Una Agnew in The Mystical Imagination of Patrick Kavanagh (Dublin: Columbia Press 1998) - Select Bibliography, pp.262ff.
  • ‘Journeymen Shoemakers: Recollections of Other Days’, in The Irish Times (Thursday, 14 July 1936).
  • ‘The Sixth Book’, in The Irish Times, (11 April 1940).
  • ‘Croagh Patrick’, in Irish Independent (29 July 1940).
  • ‘Pilgrim without Petrol: Patrick Kavanagh Goes to Knock’, in The Standard (8 May 1942).
  • ‘When You Go to Lough Derg’, in The Standard (12 June 1942).
  • ‘The Church and the Poets’, in The Standard (3 July 1942).
  • ‘Sisters of the Grey Veil’, in The Standard (11 Sept. 1942).
  • ‘Returning I Heard the Lark’, in The Standard (8 Dec. 1 1942).
  • ‘Ethical Standards’, in The Standard (2 April 1943).
  • ‘Art is Worship’, in The Standard, April 23, 1943).
  • ‘Two Sides of the Picture’, in The Standard (30 April 1943).
  • ‘The Road to Nowhere’, in The Standard ( 14 May 1943).
  • ‘The Anglo-Irish Mind’, in The Standard (28 May 1943).
  • ‘Davis Says to Me’, in The Standard (31 May 1945).
  • ‘Tailor and Ansty’, in The Irish Times (18 Sept. 1945).
  • ‘Diary’, in Envoy (Dec. 1949-July 1951).
  • ‘I Sing the Praise of Famey’, in Ireland of the Welcomes (March 1952).
  • ‘Sex and Christianity’, in Kavanagh’s Weekly (24 May 1952).
  • ‘Moments As Big as Years’, in Creation (July 1957).
  • ‘Bachelorhood is Tragedy’, in Creation (Oct. 1957).
  • ‘The Shoemaker Who Didn’t Stick to his Last’, in Irish Farmers’ Journal (6 Dec. 1958).
  • ‘The Lilies of the Field’, in Irish Farmers’ Journal, 16 May 1959).
  • ‘A World of Sensibility’ [1959], in Irish Mythology: A Dictionary, by Peter Kavanagh, Newbridge, Ireland: The Goldsmith Press, Ltd, 1988, pp.1-5.
  • ‘The Bard of Callenberg’, in Irish Farmers Journal (4 Feb. 1961).
  • ‘I’ll be a Camera’, in Irish Farmers’ Journal (6 May 1961).
  • ‘Poets on Poetry’, in X Magazine (June 1960).
  • ‘The Wonder of Easter’, Irish Farmers’ Journal (1 April 1961).
  • ‘The House the Hens Built’, in Irish Farmers’ Journal (17 Feb. 1962).
  • ‘Carleton the Voice of the People’, in Irish Farmers’ Journal (30 June 1962).
  • ‘Poems of Childhood’, in Irish Farmers Journal (21 July 1962).
  • ‘Schoolbookery’, in Irish Farmers Journal (17 June 1966).

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Digital editions - poetry

Collected Poems (1964, 1968) - Author’s Note, Contents, &c. [infra]
For longer extracts, go to RICORSO - Library, “Irish Classics” [infra]
See also the Patrick Kavanagh Website UCD/TCD [online]

Digital eds. - critical prose

  “Poetry in Ireland To-Day” (The Bell, 1948)
“The Parish and the Universe” (Kavanagh's, 1952)
“The Irish Tradition” (The Bell, Sept. 1953)
“From Monaghan to the Grand Canal” (Studies, 1959)
“Nationalism and Literature” (Non-plus, Oct. 1959)
  RICORSO Library, “Critical Classics”, index

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Miscellaneous [selected]

Preface to William Steuart Trench, Realities of Irish Life [abridged] (1966). Foreword to Autobiography of William Allingham (London: McGibbon & Kee, [1968]), pp.11-14; Preface to Autobiography of William Carleton (London: McGibbon & Kee 1968); Kavanagh’s Weekly: A Journal of Literature and Politics [facs. rep. of 13 issue series of 1952] (Newbridge: Goldsmith Press 1981).


On the Irish censorship [PK’s letter of 2 Feb. 1949] - responses from var. writers: Robert Greacen, ‘Reply to Patrick Kavanagh’, New Statesman XXXVII, 936 (12 February 1949), p.154; Ewart Milne, ‘Reply to Patrick Kavanagh’, in New Statesman, XXXVII, 935 (12 February 1949), pp.155. (All cited in Gerry Smyth, Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature, London: Pluto Press 1998, Bibl.)

  • The Garden of Golden Apples: A Bibliography of Patrick Kavanagh, comp. Peter Kavanagh (Kavanagh Hand Press 1972).
  • John Nemo, Patrick Kavanagh, ‘A Bibliography of Materials By and About Patrick Kavanagh’, in The Irish University Review (Spring 1973).

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Peter Kavanagh - editions
  • Lapped Furrows: Correspondence, 1933-67 (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1968) [var. 1969].
  • November Haggard: Uncollected Prose and Verse (NY Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1971).
  • The Complete Poems (NY Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1972), and Do., [rep. edn.] (Newbridge, Co Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1984; 1990).
  • By Night Unstarred (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press; Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1977).
  • Love’s Tortured Headland (NY Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1978) [ltd. edn. 600; cont. of Lapped Furrows].

Further posthumous works published under contested agreements by The Peter Kavanagh Hand Press [250 East 30th St., NY, and by The Goldsmith Press [prop. Desmond Egan, Goldenbridge, Co. Kildare, Ireland] incl. Night Unstarred (Newbridge, Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1977); Lough Derg (Newbridge, Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1978); Peter Kavanagh, ed., A Guide to Patrick Kavanagh Country (Newbridge, Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1978); Goldsmith Poetry Calendar, with a selection of poems chosen by Peter Kavanagh (Newbridge, Kildare: Goldsmith Press 1980). See Hibernia, 15 Jan. 1980 for an account posthumous publications undertaken by Peter Kavanagh given by ‘NOF’ [viz., Nuala O’Faolain].

By Night Unstarred (Kildare: Goldsmith Press [1977]), and Do. [another edn.] (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press [1977]), xxii, 175pp. [ltd. edn. of 300 signed copies] - copies held in University of London Library, Southampton UL, TCD, Wales, British Library, Cambridge UL, et al.; dates given as 1977 and c.1978.

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  • James Plunkett [on Kavanagh], The Bell (1952).
  • Hubert Butler, ‘Envoy and Mr Kavanagh’ [1954], rep. in Escape from the Anthill (Dublin: Lilliput 1985) [rep. in Roy Foster, ed. The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue, Dublin: Lilliput Press 1990, pp.83-91].
  • John Hewitt, ‘The Cobbler’s Song: Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh’ in Threshold, 5, 1 (Spring-Summer 1961), pp.45-51.
  • John Jordan [on Kavanagh], in Poetry Ireland (Summer 1964) [q.pp.].
  • Douglas Sealy, ‘The Writings of Patrick Kavanagh’, The Dublin Magazine 3 (Winter 1965), pp.5-23.
  • Derek Mahon, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’, in The Dublin Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring 1968), pp.6-8.
  • P[atrick] Duffy, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’s Rural Landscape’, in Baile (1968), pp.3-5.
  • Grattan Freyer, ‘Patrick Kavanagh', in Éire-Ireland, 3, 4 (Winter 1968), pp.17-23.
  • Brendan Kennelly, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’, in Ariel (July 1970), pp.7-28; rep. in Seán Lucy, ed., Irish Poems in English (Cork: Mercier Press 1972), pp.159-84 [Chap. XI; see extract]; rep. as ‘Patrick Kavanagh’s Comic Vision’, in Journey into Joy: Selected Prose, ed. Åke Persson (Newcastle: Bloodaxe 1994), pp.109-26.
  • Jude the Obscure [pseud.], critique of Kavanagh, in The Honest Ulsterman (Jan./Feb. 1972).
  • Anon. [Vivian Mercier], ‘Kavanagh’s Explosive Legacy’ [unsigned review article on the Letters], in Profile (1973), pp.41-43.
  • Alan Warner, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’, A Guide to Anglo-Irish Literature (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1981), pp.72-108 [Chap.].
  • Alan Warner, Clay is the Word: Patrick Kavanagh 1904-1967 (Dublin: Dolmen 1973), 144pp.
  • John Nemo, ‘A Bibliography of Materials By and About Patrick Kavanagh’, in Irish University Review, 3, 1 (Spring 1973), pp.80-106.
  • John Nemo, ‘The Green Knight, Patrick Kavanagh’s Venture into Criticism’, in Studies, 63 (Autumn 1974), pp.282-94.
  • John Nemo, ‘A Joust with the Philistines: Patrick Kavanagh’s Cultural Criticism’, in Journal of Irish Literature, Vol. 4 (1975) [cp.67].
  • Darcy O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh (Lewisburg: Bucknell UP 1975), 72pp.
  • Michael Allen, ‘Provincialism and Recent Irish Poetry, The Importance of Patrick Kavanagh’ in Douglas Dunn, ed., Two Decades of Irish Writing (1975), pp.23-36.
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’, The New Review, 1:10 (Jan. 1975), pp.57-62 [essay].
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘The Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh: From Monaghan to the Grand Canal’, in Douglas Dunn, ed., Two Decades of Irish Writing (Cheshire: Carcanet Press 1975), pp.105-17 [rep. in Preoccupations, 1980, q.pp. [see extract].
  • John Ryan, Remembering How We Stood (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan [1975]), passim.
  • Terence Brown, ‘Conclusion: With Kavanagh in Mind’, in Northern Voices: Poets from Ulster (Cheadle: Carcanet 1975), pp.214-21 [see extract].
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘The Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh: From Monaghan to the Grand Canal’, in Douglas Dunn, ed., Two Decades of Irish Writing: A Critical Survey (Carcanet 1975) [see extract].
  • Anthony Cronin, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’, in Dead as Doornails: A Chronicle of Life (London: Grafton 1976).
  • Paul Durcan, ‘Foreword’ to Patrick Kavanagh’s Lough Derg (London: Martin, Brian & O’Keeffe 1978), pp.vii-ix.
  • Robert Welch, ‘Language as a Pilgrimage, Lough Derg Poems of Patrick Kavanagh and Denis Devlin’, in Irish University Review, 13, 1 (?1978), pp.54-66.
  • John Wilson Foster, ‘The Poetry of Kavanagh: A Reappraisal’, in Mosaic, XII, 3 (1979), pp.139-52 [rep. in Colonial Consequences (1991), pp.97-113]
  • Weldon Thornton, ‘Virgin or Hungry Fiend? The Failures of the Imagination in Patrick Kavanagh’s The Great Hunger,’ in Mosaic, XII, 3 (Spring 1979), 152-62.
  • John Nemo, Patrick Kavanagh [English Author Ser.] (NY: Twayne 1979), 166pp., port.; and Do., [another edn.] (London: George Prior 1979) [see extract].
  • J. B. Kilfeather, ‘Patrick Kavanagh in Belfast’, in Threshold, 31 [guest ed. John Hewitt] (Autumn/Winter 1980), pp.64-67.
  • Terence Brown, ‘After the Revival: The Problem of Adequacy and Genre’, in Ronald Schleifer, ed., The Genres of Irish Literary Revival (Oklahoma: Pilgrim; Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1980), pp.153-78, pp.165ff. [see extract]; rep. in Ireland’s Literature (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1988) [Chap. 7].
  • Peter Kavanagh, Sacred Keeper: A Biography of Patrick Kavanagh (Newbridge: Goldsmith Press 1979 [var. 1980]; Maine: National Poetry Foundation 1988).
  • Anthony Cronin, ‘Patrick Kavanagh: Alive and Well in Dublin’, in Heritage Now: Irish Literature in the English Language (Dingle: Brandon 1982), pp.185-96.
  • Michael O’Loughlin, After Kavanagh: Patrick Kavanagh and the Discourse of Contemporary Irish Poetry (Dublin: Raven Arts Press 1985), 38pp.
  • G. H. M. Brian Baird, ‘The Other Man Concealed’: Patrick Kavanagh’s Cultural Criticism - A Cryptic Autobiography?’, in Heinz Kosok, ed., Studies in Anglo-Irish Literature (Bonn: Bouvier Verlag 1982), cp.360.
  • Hugh Kenner, ‘Two Eccentrics’ in A Colder Eye: The Modern Irish Writers (London: Faber & Faber 1984) [chap. on Kavanagh and Austin Clarke], pp.293-317, espec. 293-307.
  • Michael O’Loughlin, After Kavanagh: Patrick Kavanagh and the Discourse of Irish Poetry (Dublin: Raven Arts Press 1985), 34pp.
  • Robert F. Garratt, ‘Tradition and Continuity, II: Patrick Kavanagh’, in Modern Irish Poetry: Tradition and Continuity from Yeats to Heaney (California UP 1986), pp.137-66.
  • Peter Kavanagh, ed., Patrick Kavanagh: Man and Poet (Maine: Nat. Poetry Foundation 1986; Newbridge: Goldsmith Press 1987) [incl. Augustine Martin, ‘The Apocalypse of Clay: Technique and Vision in the Great Hunger’, et al.].
  • Thomas G. Stack, “Ordinary Plenty: Patrick Kavanagh and the Catholic Imagination” [M. Theol. Thesis] (Harvard May 1986) [unpub.; cited in Una Agnew, op. cit. 1998].
  • Patrick J. Duffy, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’s Landscape’, in Éire Ireland, 21, 3 (1986), pp.105-18.
  • Ruth Fleischmann, ‘Old Irish and Classical Pastoral Elements in Patrick Kavanagh’s Tarry Flynn’, in Wolfgang Zach & Heinz Kosok eds., Literary Interrelations: Ireland, England and the World, Vol. II: Comparison and Impact (Tübingen: Guntar Narr Verlag 1987), pp.311-22.
  • Daniel Murphy, ‘Apocalypse of Clay: Religion in Patrick Kavanagh’s Poetry’, in Imagination and Religion in Anglo-Irish Literature 1930-1980 (Dublin: IAP 1987), pp.25-51.
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘The Placeless Heaven: Another Look at Kavanagh’, in The Government of the Tongue (London: Faber & Faber 1988), pp.3-14 [see extract].
  • Margaret McAuley, ‘The Anglo-Irish Idiom in the Works of Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon’ (UUC MA thesis [1989]), 87pp.
  • Allison Muri, ‘Paganism and Christianity in Kavanagh’s The Great Hunger, in Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 16, 2 (December 1990), pp.66-78 [see extract].
  • Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: Born-Again Romantic (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1991), xi, 493pp. [see extract], and Do., publ. in USA as Patrick Kavanagh: A Critical Study (Syracuse UP 1991).
  • Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: Born-Again Romantic (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1991) [see extract].
  • Desmond O’Grady, ‘Paddy Kavanagh in Rome, 1967’, in Poetry Ireland Review (Spring 1992), pp.14-24, cont. in next issue.
  • Alan Peacock, ‘Received Religion and Secular Vision: MacNeice and Kavanagh’, in Irish Writers and Religion, ed. by Robert Welch (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1992), pp. 148-68 [see extract].
  • Tom Collins, ‘Personality, Place, and Identity’ Irish Reporter, 10 (1993), p.6.
  • Thomas B. O’Grady, ‘“The Parish and the Universe”: a comparative study of Patrick Kavanagh and William Carleton, Studies (Spring 1996), pp.17-25.
  • Jonathan Allison, Patrick Kavanagh: A Reference Guide (NY: G. K. Hall; London: Prentice Hall Intl. 1996), xxviii, 218pp. [covers 1935-95].
  • Anthony Cronin, ‘The Great Humour’, feature-article on Patrick Kavanagh, Magill (Oct. 1997), p.51. [see extract].
  • Sr. Una Agnew [Order of St. Louis], The Mystical Imagination of Patrick Kavanagh: A Buttonhole in Heaven? (Dublin: Columba Press 1998), 285pp. [see extract; and see also selections from “Bibliography”, as attached].
  • Gerry Smyth, ‘The Moment of Kavanagh’s Weekly’, in Decolonisation and Criticism: The Construction of Irish Literature (London: Pluto Press 1998), pp.103-12 [see extract].
  • Peter Kavanagh, Patrick Kavanagh: A Life Chronicle (NY: [priv.] 2001) 440pp.;
  • Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2001), 542pp. [pb. 2003].
  • Robert Greacen, Rooted in Ulster: Nine Northern Writers (Belfast: Lagan Press 2001), 130pp.
  • Tom Stack, No Earthly Estate: The Religious Poetry of Patrick Kavanagh (Dublin: Columba Press 2002), 176pp.
  • Declan Kiberd, ‘Underdeveloped Comedy: Patrick Kavanagh’, in Irish Classics (London: Granta 2000), pp.590-601.
  • Jonathan Allison, ‘Patrick Kavanagh and Antipastoral’, in Matthew Campbell, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry (Cambridge UP 2003), pp.42-58.
  • Seamus Heaney, ‘In the light of the imagination’, in The Irish Times (21 Oct. 2004) [see extract]
  • Stan Smith, ed., Patrick Kavanagh [Visions & Revisions Ser.] (Dublin: IAP 2008), 208pp. [see contents].
  • Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ‘Paradigms and Precursors: Rooted Men and Nomads (John Hewitt, Patrick Kavanagh and Louis MacNeice)’, in Writing Home: Poetry and Place in Northern Ireland, 1968-2008 (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer 2008), pp.21-52.
  • Terence Dewsnap, Island of Daemons: The Lough Derg Pilgrimage and the poets Patrick Kavanagh, Denis Devlin, and Seamus Heaney (Delaware UP 2008), 221pp., ill.
  • P. J. Browne & Dave Maher, Kavanagh Country (Dublin: Currach Press 2009), 128pp.
  • Pat Walsh, Patrick Kavanagh and “The Leader”: The Poet, the Politician and the Libel Trial (Cork: Mercier Press 2010), 256pp.
  • Kit Fryatt, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’s “Potentialities”’, in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry, ed. Fran Brearton & Alan Gillis (OUP 2012), pp.181-95.
  • Joseph Brooker, ‘Ploughmen without Land: Flann O'Brien and Patrick Kavanagh’, in I. Murphet, R. McDonald, & S. Morrell, S., ed., Flann O’Brien and Modernism (London: Bloomsbury 2014), q.pp. [see copy].
  • [...]
  • Elizabeth O’Toole, A Poet in the House (Dublin: Lilliput Press 2020) [memoir].
See also ...
  • Robert Garratt, Modern Irish Poetry: Tradition and Continuity from Yeats to Heaney (California UP 1986).
  • Terry Gifford, Green Voices: Understanding Contemporary Nature Poetry (Manchester UP 1995), pp.55-71.
  • Alan Gillis, Irish Poetry of the 1930s (Oxford: OUP 2005), espec. Chap. 3: ‘Patrick Kavanagh and Austin Clarke: In a Metaphysical Land’].
  • Terence Dewsnap, Island of Daemons: The Lough Derg Pilgrimage and the Poets Patrick Kavanagh, Denis Devlin, and Seamus Heaney (Delaware UP; NJ: AUP 2010).
  • Frank McNally, ‘[...] Paul Durcan’s memories of Patrick Kavanagh’, in Irishman’s Diary [column], The Irish Times (Sat. 25 Nov. 2017) - as attached.
Patrick Kavanagh Centenary Year incl. lectures by Seamus Heaney, ‘Patrick Kavanagh’s Essential Gesture’ Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen, Co. Monaghan, 26 Nov. 2004, and ‘The Fire i[n] the Flint’, an inaugural lecture on Kavanagh in the series of the name at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, 25 Nov. [subsequently printed as ‘In a Mucker Fog: Patrick Kavanagh’s Calling’, in The Fire i’ the Flint: Essays on the Creative Imagination, ed. Mary Shine Thompson (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2008), q.pp.]
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Bibliographical details
Stan Smith, ed., Patrick Kavanagh [Visions & Revisions Ser.] (Dublin: IAP 2008), 208pp. CONTENTS: List of Contributors’ [vii]; Acknowledgements’ [x]; 1. Stan Smith, ‘Introduction: “Important Places, Times”’ [1]; 2. Elmer Kennedy-Andrews, ‘Life and Work: The Poetics of Sincerity’ [21]; 3. Alex Davis, ‘Kavanagh”s Poetics and Prose: Against Formulae’ [39]; 4. Gerry Smyth, ‘The Moment of Kavanagh”s Weekly’ [55]; 5. Oona Frawley, ‘Kavanagh and the Irish Pastoral Tradition’ [72]; 6. Edward Larrissy, ‘The Great Hunger and Mother Ireland’ [93]; 7. Michael Murphy, ‘An “Unmeasured Womb”: A Soul for Sale and the 1937 Irish Constitution’ [107]; 8. John Goodby, ‘The Later Poetry and its Critical Reception [117]; 9. John Goodby, ‘“In Blinking Blankness”: The Last Poems’ [141]; 10. Bruce Stewart, “The Door and What Came Through It”: Aspects of Influence’ [159]; Select Bibliography[184]; Index’ [194].

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See separate file, infra.

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See separate file, infra.

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See & hear the RTÉ Archive's of recordings by and about Patrick Kavanagh, incl. those by Seamus Heaney, Brendan Kennelly, Tom McGurk, and others - online. Materials incls.:
Hospital Notebook
1st Broadcast: 4 September 1955
Writer/Presenter: Patrick Kavanagh
Clip Duration: 4’21”
Self Portrait: Patrick Kavanagh
1st Broadcast: 30 October 1962
Director: Jim FitzGerald
Clip Duration: 3’32”
The Patrick Kavanagh Website, maintained by the Trustees of the Estate of his widow Katherine Kavanagh, contains published poems and some unpublished poems held in manuscript at UCD (Belfield). The site is located in the School of English at TCD (Dublin) [online]

Patrick Henchy, The National Library of Ireland, 1941-1976 - A Look Back: A Paper read to the National Library of Ireland Society (NLI 1986), p.15, lists collection of Kavanagh Papers at NLI: A variant version of Patrick Kavanagh’s prose work published as The Green Fool in two holograph vols. c.1938 (Ms 3213-3214); Autograph poems ... 42 items in one vol. with details regarding those which were published between 1929 and 1941 (MS 3215); Eighty poems ... mainly unpublished, holograph & typescript, 1937-38 (MS 9579); The Great Hunger, a fair copy in the author’s hand, October, 1950. (Ms 3216); A notebook ... containing miscellaneous jottings c.1927-30, including local GAA details (MS 3218); Cobbler’s account book of Patrick Kavanagh, 1929-39 (MS 3217); Cobbler’s account book of James Kavanagh, father of Patrick Kavanagh, 1911-29 (MS 3220). For Henchy's comments, see Commentary [supra].

Brian Cleeve & Ann Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers (Dublin: Lilliput 1985), gives err. birthdate of b.1906, but supplies an untypically effusive descriptive notice: ‘Grew up on a small farm of the kind described in some of his work. A dedicated poet in the great tradition of Gaelic rather than English poetry, in which “poetry” is a spiritual force to be served by the poet, rather than a means of communication, although this is not to suggest any lack of clarity in Kavanagh’s poetry, which is free from all fashionable tricks. Accepted as a major Irish poet since the appearance of Ploughman and Other Poems (1936) [...; &c.]’.

Frank Ormsby, ed., Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (Belfast: Blackstaff 1987), contains extract from The Green Fool (1971 edn.), in which the following: ‘Tarry Flynn once told his mother that in a hundred years time the only thing his home place would be famous for was the he had once lived there amongst the pigs’ (here pp.92-106).

Grattan Freyer, ed., Modern Irish Writing (1979), selects poems: “Ploughman”; “Canal Bank Walk”; The Great Hunger” [complete]; “In Memory of My Mother”.

Maurice Harmon, ed., Irish Poetry After Yeats, Seven Poets (Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1979), includes selection of poetry.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 3, selects from The Great Hunger; A Soul for Sale; Come Dance with Kitty Stobling; Collected Poems; November Haggard; also from Self Portrait. BIOG & COMM, 168-69 [as supra]. Note: Collected Pruse cited as Collected Prose [sic; 169]

Patrick Crotty, ed., Modern Irish Poetry: An Anthology (Belfast: Blackstaff Press 1995), selects “To the Man After the Harrow” [31]; “Stony Grey Soil” [32]; from The Great Hunger, I [33], III [36], XIV [36]; “The Twelfth of July” [39]; “Tarry Flynn” [39]; “A Christmas Childhood” [40]; “Father Mat&3148; [42]; “Elegy for Jim Larkin” [46]; “Epic” [47]; “Innocence” [48]; “Kerr’s Ass” [48]; “The Hospital” [49].

Booksellers & Catalogues
Hyland Catalogue
, No. 220 (Jan. 1996) lists Kavanagh, contrib. [inter al.], David Wright and Patrick Smith, “X”, Vol. 1 (1960/1) [ltd. 800].

Hibernia Books (Cat. 19) lists ‘From Monaghan to the Grand Canal’, in Studies (1959), essay; Three Essays and Poems, in Nonplus, No. 1 (1969); also ‘A Letter and an Environment from Dublin’, essay, in Nimbus, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Summer 1956).

Cathach Books (1996/97) lists A Soul for Sale (London: Macmillan 1947), 55pp. [signed and inscribed copy dated Grand National Day 1946, £450.]

Publications to 1994: The Great Hunger (Dublin: Cuala Press 1942; facs. ed. Shannon: IUP 1972, 1993) [0 71651 39 6 X]; A Soul for Sale (London: Macmillan 1947); Collected Poems (London: MacGibbon & Kee 1964) [0 85616 1004; pb. 190 X]; Patrick Kavanagh, The Collected Poems, ed. Peter Kavanagh (Newbridge: Goldsmith 1972) [0 904984 79 6]; Lough Derg; A Poem [1942], ed. Peter Kavanagh (Newbridge: Goldsmith Press 1978) [0 904984 47 8]; The Green Fool (Michael Joseph 1938; Martin Brian & O’Keeffe 1971; Harm: Penguin 1975, 1977, 1979) [0 85616 0008; 0 14 004005 6]; Tarry Flynn (London, Pilot Press 1948; New English Library 1962; MacGibbon & Kee 1965, 1972; Penguin 1978) [0 85616 086 6; 0 14 004553 8]; Self Portrait (Dolmen 1964, 1975), photos by Liam Miller [0 85185 275 4]; Collected Pruse (MacGibbon & Kee 1967); November Haggard (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1972); By Night Unstarred, [novel] ed. Peter Kavanagh (Curragh;Goldsmith Press 1978) [0 904984 28 5]; Skinyou’s Beauty Parlour, comedy in one act (Abbey Publ. Co. 1950), 10pp.; Kavanagh’s Weekly (Curragh: Goldsmith 1981) [0 904984 62 1]; Lough Derg (London: Martin Brian & O’Keeffe ?1971) [0 85616 161 6]

University of Ulster (Central Library)holds Autobiography of William Carleton, preface [foreword] by Patrick Kavanagh (MacGibbon & Kee 1968); The Green Fool (Michael Joseph 1938 [withdrawn] MB&O’K 1971; Penguin 1976); Lough Derg (Curragh: Goldsmith 1978); The Great Hunger (IUP 1971; orig. Cuala 1942), 1+35pp.; Almost Everything [disc] (Claddagh 1954), with sel. from Autobiography, prose and song, incl. ‘If Ever I Go to Dublin Town’, and poems; Garden of the Golden Apples, bibliography comp. and researched by Peter Kavanagh (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1972), 47pp; Tom MacIntyre [after Patrick Kavanagh] Poem Into Play, essay and texts (Lilliput 1988), vii, 83pp.; Kavanagh’s Weekly, a journal of literature and politics, ed. Patrick Kavanagh and published by Peter Kavanagh, Dublin 1952 [facs. rep. of orig. series of 13] (Curragh: Goldsmith 1981); Tarry Flynn (London Pilot Press 1948); Tarry Flynn (London: Martin Brian & O’Keeffe 1972), 256pp.; Tarry Flynn (Penguin 1978), and Tarry Flynn (MacGibbon & Kee 1965; orig. ed. Pilot Press), 256pp.

University of Ulster (Central Library)holds Autobiography of William Carleton, preface [foreword] by Patrick Kavanagh (MacGibbon & Kee 1968); The Green Fool (Michael Joseph 1938 [withdrawn] MB&O’K 1971; Penguin 1976); Lough Derg (Curragh: Goldsmith 1978); The Great Hunger (IUP 1971; orig. Cuala 1942), 1+35pp.; Almost Everything [disc] (Claddagh 1954), with sel. from Autobiography, prose and song, incl. ‘If Ever I Go to Dublin Town’, and poems; Garden of the Golden Apples, bibliography comp. and researched by Peter Kavanagh (NY: Peter Kavanagh Hand Press 1972), 47pp; Tom MacIntyre [after Patrick Kavanagh] Poem Into Play, essay and texts (Lilliput 1988), vii, 83pp.; Kavanagh’s Weekly, a journal of literature and politics, ed. Patrick Kavanagh and published by Peter Kavanagh, Dublin 1952 [facs. rep. of orig. series of 13] (Curragh: Goldsmith 1981); Tarry Flynn (London Pilot Press 1948); Tarry Flynn (London: Martin Brian & O’Keeffe 1972), 256pp.; Tarry Flynn (Penguin 1978), and Tarry Flynn (MacGibbon & Kee 1965; orig. ed. Pilot Press), 256pp.

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Kavanagh’s Weekly, ran 13 issues to Sat., July 5 1952, ending with the editorial “The Story of an Editor Who Was Corrupted by Love” [headline banner]: ‘Our main problem was two-headed. First, there was the absence of writers and secondly, the absence of an audience’. Further: ‘It is the need of the audience which produces the [poet’s] voice ... although there is no ultimate audience there is [in Ireland] just enough coqeutry to draw out writers who are then left with a hunger which cannot be satisfied within that society.’ (Kavanagh’s Weekly, No. 13, 5 July 1952, p.1; quoted in Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin, ‘Borderlands of Irish Poetry’, in Elmer Andrews, ed., Contemporary Irish Poetry: A Collection of Critical Essays, Macmillan 1996, pp.25-40, p.27.)

Donagh MacDonagh, ed., Poems from Ireland (Dublin: The Irish Times 1944), contains a bio-note: ‘The publication of his important poem, The Great Hunger by the Cuala Press, placed him in the first rank of Irish poets. A Monaghan man, he speaks with the ruggedness of the country and the strength of the poet who can afford to break the rules.’

Myles Na gCopaleen [Flann O’Brien] writes, ‘Mr Patrick kavanagh was recently reported as having declared that “there is no such thing as Gaelic literature”. This is hard luck on the institute of Advanced Studies, who are supposed to be looking into the thing. I attended the Book Fair in the Mansion House the other evening in the hope of overhearing other similar pronouncements from the writing persons who infest such a place. I heard plenty, and have recorded it in my note-books under “Stuff To Be Used If Certain People Put Their Heads Out”.’ (The Best of Myles, ed. Kevin O’Nolan, 1987 &c. Edns., p.201.)

Re Maguire: “The Belfry”, being the poetry section of The Bell (Dec. 1940), [poetry ed., Frank O’Connor] incls. John MacDonagh's poem “Maguire”, with comment by O’Connor: “But if for nothing but its atmosphere I would commend it to every young poet as a model. However Irish their themes, their colouring, their atmosphere are not of the life they know; but no one could mistake the colouring of Maguire. ” (p.92.) “My name is Maguire, / I come out of the West / Where every dog knows me…” [and cf. Scott's “Lochinvar”.] (Information supplied by Kelly Matthews, UUC PhD, 2008.)

Christopher Ricks remarks ‘an absence’ in his Oxford Book of English Verse where Kavanagh’s “The Great Hunger” should be, because ‘the estate of Patrick Kavanagh and his brother are at odds as to who has the right be be credited.’ (Cited by Robert Greacen in ‘Sixty Years On’, review article on Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography, in Books Ireland, Feb. 2002, p.17.)

Robert Greacen notes that he was invited by Cyril Connolly to review The Great Hunger for Horizon, giving rise to Kavanagh’s calling him a ‘Protestant bastard’ afterwards. (‘Sixty Years On’, in Books Ireland, Feb. 2002, p.17.)

Prionsias Ó Drisceoil, ed., Culture in Ireland, Regions, Identity and Power (QUB: Inst. of Irish Studies 1993), is ‘dedicated to the example of Hubert Butler, a lifelong campaigner for cultural understanding, and to Patrick Kavanagh, through whose poetry we have on record, some of the greatest insights into life in rural Ireland’. Ó Drisceoil quotes from “Epic”: ‘... Homer’s ghost came whispering to my mind. He said, I made the Iliad from such a local row. Gods make their own importance.’ See however, Butler’s ‘Envoy and Mr Kavanagh’ [1954], in Escape from the Anthill (Dublin: Lilliput Press 1985; rep. in Roy Foster, ed. The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue, Dublin: Lilliput 1990, pp.83-91.).

F. R. Higgins was described by Kavanagh as an example of the literary revival ‘dabbler’ in “The Gallivanting Poet”, in Irish Writing, 3 (Nov. 1947) [See under F. R. Higgins, q.v.]

Alan Warner: John Montague relates that when Warner suggested to Kavanagh that he write a biography of him, Kavanagh declared that Warner was ‘a cod, but well-meaning, and English and very cute to think of this book.’ (See John Montague, ‘Monaghan Man’, review of Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh, as infra.).

Tarry Flynn was adapted for the Abbey Stage (May 26 1997) by Conall Morrison for a cast of 29, incl. dancers from Coiscéim Co.; with Niall O’Brien and James Kennedy as Kavanagh and Tarry (see Irish Times, 17 May 1997). Also, Tarry Flynn was adapted by Conall Morrison for the Lyttelton Theatre, London (see review notice by C. L. Dallat, Times Literary Supplement, 28 Aug. 1998).

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The Green Fool (1) Martin Green, in ‘Letters’, Times Literary Supplement, 13 Dec. 2003): […] what cannot be ignored, in the formation of Kavanagh’s character, are the number of knocks he had early on. His early memoir, The Green Fool, was withdrawn immediately after publication because of a libel writ issued by Oliver St Gogarty, and only published posthumously; added to which were the costs of an expensive libel action he himself lost, and, later, the operation he underwent for cancer of the lung. / He was also most critical of his own work. I was an editor at MacGibbon and Kee when we offered to publish his Collected Poems, at the suggestion of Anthony Cronin and Patrick Swift. Kavanagh readily agreed to sign the contract and accept the advance cheque, but there was no attempt on his part to select the poems. After a long delay, I went to visit him in Dublin, with a cheque due on delivery of the poems, on the understanding that he would agree to my selection. It took four days for his agreement before he took the cheque. In his Author’s Note on publication, he thanked me for making the selection and also reminded his readers that he would not have included The Great Hunger, which he dismissed as “tragedy, unfulfilled comedy”. It may be of interest that this poem has subsequently been translated into Greek and published in Athens (1999).

The Green Fool (2): J. Howard Woolmer replies (Times Literary Supplement, 3 Jan. 2003): ‘Martin Green is wrong when he says (13 Dec.) that Patrick Kavanagh’s Green Fool was withdrawn immediately after publication and only published posthumously because of a libel writ issued by Oliver St John Gogarty. Page 300 was excised and replaced by another leaf, and the book was then released to the public. It was also published by Harper in New York in 1939 with the same replaced leaf. [End]’.)

The Green Fool (3) by Patrick Kavanagh in a stage-adaptation by Declan Gorman played for one night only as part of the centenary celebrations at the Town Hall, Galway (Monday, 8 Nov. 2004).

John McArdle’s play Out of That Childhood Country (1992), co-written with his brother Tommy McArdle and Eugene MacCabe, is a play about Kavanagh’s youth.

Inishkeen is a place of romantic associations for two of the tourists in Brian Friel’s play The Gentle Island (1971). The town is now the location of a Kavanagh commemorative museum.

Irate actor: Russell Crowe, who played the central part of the schizophrenic mathematician in the film A Beautiful Mind (2001), violently berating the director Malcolm Gerrie at the Bafta Awards for cutting off a four line poem by Patrick Kavanagh, as follows: ‘To be a poet and not know the trade / To be a lover and repel all women; / Twin ironies by which great saints are made, / The agonising pincer-jaws of Heaven.’ (Sadbh [Caroline Walsh, lit. ed.], The Irish Times, Weekend, 2 March 2002.)

Lost & found: Two poems by Kavanagh, and were found by Frank Shovlin: “Ungrateful Singer” (c.1938), among letters of Seamus O’Sullivan and Estella A. Solomons in TCD Library; “O Verse” (1950) among Envoy papers at the Morris Library at S. Illinois University. These are printed by permission of Trustees of Estate of late Katherine B. Kavanagh. (See Times Literary Supplement, 29 June 2001, p.8.)

Foolish Virginities: Kavanagh’s first complete sexual experience occurred at the age of 30 with a 15-year old girl who have previously been abused by a priest. (See Rory Brennan, reviewing Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography, in Books Ireland, Feb. 2004.)

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Archbishop McQuaid wrote to Kavanagh’s widow at her husband’s death that he ‘had arranged that at the shortest notice the poet would be received and cared for in the Mater Private Nursing Home. But it was not God’s will.’ (See Bernard O’Donoghue, review of Antoinette Quinn, Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography, in Times Literary Supplement, 29 Nov. 2002, p.10; Quinn, op. cit., p.462.) Note also that McQuaid visited Kavanagh in the Rialto Chest Hospital during his sojourn for cancer surgery in 1955 (Quinn, op. cit., p.343.)

A Centenary Celebration of life of Patrick Kavanagh organised by the trustees of the late Katherine B. Kavanagh, RTÉ Radio 1 and the Gate Theatre, Dublin, took place at the Gate on 17th Oct. 2004. The evening consisted of two parts: a reading of the “The Great Hunger” conducted by Macdara Woods, Leland Bardwell, Tom Mcintyre and Dermot Heal, and a reading of their favourite Kavanagh poems by Paul Durcan, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and John Montague, et al., each adding one poem of their own. Peter Browne provided uilleann pipe music. (Irish T imes, 16 Oct. 2004, Weekend.)

Antoinette Quinn, editor of the centenary edition of his Collected Poems of Patrick Kavanagh (Oct. 2004) and author of Patrick Kavanagh: A Biography, is quoted as saying: ‘Once again it cannot be distributed in the United States, because (his younger brother) Peter Kavanagh still claims copyright to 20 of the finest poems’. Her life of Kavanagh challenge[s] the view long advanced by the younger Kavanagh that his brother was rejected during his lifetime by Ireland’s literary establishment - indeed, she said, if her book has a hero aside from its subject, it’s Dublin’s middle class, who realised it had a ‘wayward genius’ in its midst and supported him in every way it could.’ (Irish Echo, NY, 20-26 Oct. 2004; Diaspora list online.]

Copyright: Copyright differences have arisen between Kavanagh’s widow and Peter Kavanagh, the latter having presumed a right to publication of sundry works by his brother. The authorised edition of the poem Lough Derg has been published by Martin Brian & O’Keeffe (London 1979) [ISBN 0 85616 161 6]. The first reprint edition appeared in Peter Kavanagh’s edn. of November Haggard (1971), taken from the manuscript in his possession and later reprinted in his edition of the Complete Poems (1972). An account of the transactions between Peter and Patrick regarding that manuscript is given in the foreword to the Goldsmith rep. edition of the poem (1978).

Cruiskeen: Kavanagh tells that his father, James Kavanagh, wrote down the history his own father Patrick Kevany, to whom he (James) was born out of wedlock, and placed the writing in a jug: "When my father was dead a month I looked in the jug and it was empty: and whether it was the handmaid of Prudery of Cleanliness swept it away I do not know. I was filled with grief as I never now could have a copy.’ (The Green Fool, 1987 Edn. p.13.)

Funeral cortège: Mary King recalls that Kavanagh’s funeral entourage wound its way through Ballsbridge en route toward Monaghan: ‘they brought Patrick on a final lap of his favourite stomping ground, past Parsons to Pembroke, Raglan, and Waterloo Roads. The morning was miserable and dark, grief seemed to overhang the canal, but it was heartwarming that so many people turned out along the street to see him off to Inniskeen.’ (From Brendan Lynch, Parsons Bookshop: At the Heart of Bohemian Dublin, 1949-1989 (The Liffey Press, 2006, quoted in Thomas O’Grady, ‘Enshrining Patrick Kavanagh’, in The Boston Irish Reporter, 24, 3 (March 2013), p.25; posted on Irishmatters blogspot [Friday, March 1, 2013] - online; accessed 24.03.2014. [O’Grady also quotes the 1953 ballad: ‘If ever you go to Dublin town / In a hundred years or so / Inquire for me in Baggot Street / And what I was like to know.’

Portrait: There is a portrait in charcoal by Seán O’Sullivan (Nat. Gallery of Ireland), and another by Edward McGuire.

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