Seán Ó Ríordáin's Apathy Is Out featured on The Poetry Programme

Seán Ó Ríordáin's Apathy Is Out featured on The Poetry Programme


Seán Ó Ríordáin (1916-77) was the most important and most influential Irish-language poet of modern times. He revitalised poetry in Irish, combining the world of Irish literature with that of modern English and European literature.

Many of Ó Ríordáin’s poems came out of his struggle with the isolation, guilt and loneliness of life in mid-century Catholic Ireland experienced in Cork, the native locale also of the poet Greg Delanty, translator of Apathy Is Out. Ó Ríordáin’s poems have been translated by many poets, but until now no single writer has translated the majority of the poems. This Selected Poems gives a much more unified sense of Ó Ríordáin’s work, catching the poetry’s verve, playfulness and range. 

Apathy Is Out / Ní Ceadmhach Neamhshuim was published in an Irish-English edition by Cló Iar-Chonnachta and Bloodaxe Books on 25 March 2021. Greg Delanty launched Apathy Is Out at Cork International Poetry Festival on Saturday 15 May.   Featuring Simon Ó Faoláin (moderated by Clíona Ní Ríordáin), with readings in Irish and English.

Translator Greg Delanty is the winner of the inaugural David Ferry and Ellen LaForge Poetry Prize.


The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday 20 November 2022, 7pm

Jessica Traynor and Louis de Paor made appearances on RTE Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme on 20 November 2022.  They were talking about which poets from the past they’d most like to meet.

Louis spoke in detail about fellow Irish language poet Seán Ó Ríordáin, whose selected poems Apathy Is Out, translated by Greg Delanty, was published by Bloodaxe in 2021. In 2016, Louis de Paor presented  the TG4/BFI documentary Mise Seán O Riordáin, which takes viewers on a journey to trace the story of Seán Ó Riordáin, the man and the writer.

‘I think he went as close as anybody to removing that membrane between the heart, the head, and the language on the page.’ – Louis de Paor, recommending the poetry of Seán Ó Ríordáin on The Poetry Programme

Jessica and Louis feature from 28:19.  Listen here.



The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday 21 March 2021, 7.30 pm

Translator Greg Delanty was interviewed on RTÉ Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme about his new translation of the poetry of the late Seán Ó Ríordáin, as well as reading some of his own poetry. Greg Delanty has lived in the US for the past 30 years, but is originally from Cork.  Olivia O’Leary called Ó Ríordáin an early example of an environmentally aware poet.

Greg read ‘Apathy Is Out’, ‘Cold Snap’ and ‘O Language Half Mine’ from Apathy Is Out. Archive recordings were played of Seán Ó Ríordáin reading the last two poems in their original Irish ‘Reo’ and ‘A Theanga Seo Leath-Liom’.

'Greg also speaks about his translations of the poems of Seán Ó Ríordáin, Apathy Is Out, published in March 2021 by Bloodaxe Books, and we hear recordings of Ó Ríordáin from the RTÉ radio archives.'

Listen hereApathy Is Out is discussed from 17:07.

The programme was previewed on RTÉ Culture on 18 March 2021. Includes a clip of an archive recording of Seán Ó Ríordáin reading. Read here.



Apathy Is Out was well reviewed in the June 2021 edition of The Lake.  Read the full review here.

Ó Rîordáin’s reputation will I am sure continue to grow through these translations in a renewal that echoes these resonant lines from Footprints (Rian nag Cos): ‘I die with every word,/but I rise with every breath’. - David Mark Williams, The Lake


A feature review of Apathy Is Out ran in the Irish Examiner of 14 August 2021.  Read here.

An interview with translator Greg Delanty ran in The Corkman of 19 August 2021. Read here.

[26 March 2021]

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