Thomas McCarthy (poet)

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Thomas McCarthy
Cappoquin, County Waterford, Ireland
OccupationPoet, Novelist
Alma materUniversity College Cork
Notable worksThe Sorrow Garden, Mr Dineen's Careful Parade, "The Merchant Prince

Thomas McCarthy (born 1954) is an Irish poet, novelist, and critic, born in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland. He attended University College Cork where he was part of a resurgence of literary activity under the inspiration of John Montague. Among his contemporaries, described by Thomas Dillon Redshaw as "that remarkable generation," there were Theo Dorgan poet and memoirist, Sean Dunne, poet, Greg Delanty, poet, Maurice Riordan poet and William Wall, novelist and poet. McCarthy edited, at various times, The Cork Review and Poetry Ireland Review. He has published seven collections of poetry with Anvil Press Poetry, London, including The Sorrow Garden, The Lost Province, Mr Dineen's Careful Parade, The Last Geraldine Officer ("a major achievement", in the view of academic and poet Maurice Harmon[1]) and Merchant Prince, described as "an ambitious and substantive book".[2] The main themes of his poetry are Southern Irish politics, love and memory. He is also the author of two novels; Without Power and Asya and Christine. He is married with two children and lives in Cork City where he works in the City Libraries. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1977. His monograph "Rising from the Ashes" tells the story of the burning of the Carnegie Free Library in Cork City by the Black and Tans in 1920 and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the collection with the help of donors from all over the world.[3]

In his work "the ludicrous and the homely go hand-in-hand but the relaxed, conversational style can switch from emphatic narration to literary observation, as when the poet quotes Henry James’s remark, ‘As the picture is reality so the novel is history/And not as the poem is: a metaphor and closed thing."[1]





  • 1998: The Garden of Remembrances, New Island Books, Dublin[4]


Watch a video of Thomas McCarthy reading at the National Gallery of Ireland on YouTube


You can hear an interview with Thomas McCarthy and listen to him reading from his work all recorded in March 2010 at

Thomas is also a contributor to their series of special podcasts "A Writers's Passage" in which 10 Irish authors take a personal tour through the locations of their books. The podcast based on The Gardens of Remembrance is just one of over 200 audio podcasts available free on this site.

Notes and references[edit]

  • Ryan, Ray. Ireland and Scotland: Literature and Culture, State and Nation, 1966-2000. Oxford University Press, 2002.
  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2010-12-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Web page titled "Thomas McCarthy" at the Poetry International Website, accessed May 2, 2008

External links[edit]