23 December 1928|
Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Irish Free State
|Died||27 December 2016
|Education||University College Dublin|
Anthony Cronin was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford in December 1928. After obtaining a B.A. from the National University of Ireland, he entered the King's Inns and was later called to the Bar. With Flann O’Brien, Patrick Kavanagh and Con Leventhal, Cronin celebrated the first Bloomsday in 1954, when he was still only 25 years of age. He contributed to many television programmes, including Flann O’Brien: Man of Parts (BBC) and Folio (RTÉ). He had honorary doctorates from several institutions, including Dublin University, the National University of Ireland and the University of Poznan.
As an arts activist and adviser on arts and culture to the Taoiseach Charles Haughey (and briefly to Garret FitzGerald), Cronin was the originator of such initiatives as Aosdána, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Heritage Council. He was the inspiration for, and a founding member of, Aosdána, and was elected its first Saoi (a distinction conferred for exceptional artistic achievement) in 2003. Cronin was a member of its governing body, the Toscaireacht, until his death. He was also a member of the governing bodies of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Ireland, of which he was for a time Acting Chairman.
Cronin began his literary career as a contributor to Envoy, A Review of Literature and Art. He was editor of The Bell in the 1950s and literary editor of Time and Tide (London). He wrote a weekly column, "Viewpoint", in the Irish Times from 1974 to 1980. Later he contributed a column on poetry to the Sunday Independent.
His first collection of poems, called simply Poems (Cresset, London), was published in 1958. Several collections followed and his Collected Poems (New Island, Dublin) was published in 2004. The End of the Modern World (New Island, 2016), written over several decades, was his final publication.
Cronin's first novel, The Life of Riley, is a satire on bohemian life in Ireland in the mid-20th century, while his memoir Dead as Doornails addresses the same subject. He also wrote landmark biographies of two Irish writers, No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O'Brien (1989) and Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist (1996).
Anthony Cronin was married to Thérèse Campbell, from whom he separated in the mid-1980s. She died in 1999. They had two daughters, Iseult and Sarah; Iseult was killed in a road accident in Spain. He is survived by his second wife, author Anne Haverty and by his daughter Sarah. He died on 27 December 2016.
Verse: main collections
- Poems (London: Cresset, 1958)
- Collected Poems, 1950-73 (Dublin: New Writers Press, 1973)
- Reductionist Poem (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1980)
- RMS Titanic (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1981)
- 41 Sonnet Poems (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1982)
- New and Selected Poems (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, and Manchester: Carcanet, 1982)
- Letters to an Englishman (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1985)
- The End of the Modern World (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1989 and 1998; reissued in a new expanded edition, Dublin: New Island Books, 2016)
- Relationships (Dublin: New Island Press, 1992)
- Minotaur (Dublin: New Island Books, 1999)
- Collected Poems (Dublin: New Island Press, 2004)
- The Fall (Dublin: New Island Books, 2010)
- Body and Soul (Dublin: New Island Books, 2014)
- The Life of Riley (New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1964; reissued, Dublin: New Island 2012).
- Identity Papers (Dublin: Co-Op Books, 1980)
Literary Criticism and Commentary
- Botteghe oscure : quaderno XII, Roma, (De Luca editore, 1953, contributor)
- A Question of Modernity, a collection of critical essays (London: Secker & Warburg, 1966)
- Heritage Now: Irish Literature in the English Language (Dingle: Brandon 1982)
- An Irish Eye (Dingle: Brandon 1985)
- Art for the People?: Letters from the "New Island" (Dublin: Raven Arts Press, 1995)
- Ireland: A Week in the Life of a Nation, text by (Century, 1986)
- An Illustrated Historical Map of Ireland, text by (London: Cassell, 1980)
- Personal Anthology: Selections from his Sunday Independent Feature (Dublin: New Island Books, 2000)
- Dead as Doornails (Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1976; Oxford University Press, 1983; Lilliput 2008)
- No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O'Brien (London: Grafton Books, 1989; New York: Fromm International, 1998; Dublin: New Island Books, 2003)
- Samuel Beckett: The Last Modernist (London: HarperCollins, 1996)
- New Poems, ed. Anthony Cronin, Jon Silkin & Terence Tiller (London: Hutchinson, 1960)
- The Courtship of Phelim O’Toole, Stories by William Carleton (London: New English Library, 1962)
- Where the Poet Has Been, Michael Kane (Irish Museum of Modern Art, 1995): portraits of Anthony Cronin and paintings inspired by his poems, with an essay by Ulick O'Connor
- "Anthony Cronin: poet, novelist, biographer and cultural commentator". The Irish Times. December 28, 2017.
- Ferguson, Kenneth (2005). King's Inns Barristers 1868--2004. Dublin: The Honorable Society of King's Inns in association with The Irish Legal History Society. p. 166. ISBN 0-9512443-2-9.
- Miriam O Callaghan meets writers Anthony Cronin and Anne Haverty Retrieved 2016-03-11.