Talk by Benjamin Keatinge
Date: Saturday 5th May
Venue: Tullycross Church
This talk will celebrate poet Richard Murphy’s lifelong connection to Connemara and the West. Born in 1927 at his mother’s family demesne of Milford on the Mayo/Galway border, Richard Murphy’s happiest childhood memories were of journeys to Salruck and Killary and he later decided to live among people on or near the sea in Cleggan, Inishbofin, Omey, Claddaghduff and High Island where he sailed the legendary Ave Maria. This lifelong attachment to Connemara inspired such signature works as ‘Sailing to an Island’, ‘The Cleggan Disaster’, ‘Seals at High Island’ and other remarkable poems collected in The Pleasure Ground: Poems 1952-2012 (2013). His voice remains unique in Irish letters, linking Irish and Anglo-Irish traditions and capturing the austere beauty of Connemara, that “unfenced romantic pleasure ground . . . on the edge of the sea”.
Benjamin Keatinge is a Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin where he teaches in the School of English. He has published widely on modern Irish poetry and he has written on different aspects of Richard Murphy’s life and work, most recently in the Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets (2017). He has also discussed Richard Murphy’s poetry at conferences, on radio and in interviews with the poet. He is editor of Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy forthcoming from Cork University Press later this year.