Louis de Paor on Radio
Louis de Paor is one of Ireland's leading Irish-language poets, and was a key figure in the Irish language poetry renaissance of the 1980s and 90s. His first Irish-English dual language selection The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue was co-published by Bloodaxe and Cló Iar-Chonnachta in 2014, followed in February 2022 by Crooked Love/Grá fiar, also published in an Irish-English edition by Boodaxe and Cló Iar-Chonnachta.
Louis de Paor's dual languagel anthology of 20th-century poetry in Irish, Leabhar na hAthghabhála / Poems of Repossession, was published by Bloodaxe Books with Cló Iar-Chonnacht in 2016. It was a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation.
Crooked Love / Grá fiar is an Irish-English selection is drawn from three previous Irish language collections. The book includes QR codes for the dual language radio feature Lá dá raibh/ One Day, based on the sequence in section III. This was first broadcast on RTE Lyric FM and Raidió na Gaeltachta on 14 March 2021, narrated by Louis de Paor, with music by Dana Lyn. Scan the QR code to listen in Irish or English when reading the poems. The radio feature was rebroadcast on Lyric FM on 27 February 2022 to mark the publication of Crooked Love. The feature is on the shortlist of finalists for the New York Festivals Radio Awards 2022 in the ‘Culture and The Arts’ documentary category.
INTERVIEW WITH LOUIS DE PAOR ON THE POETRY PROGRAMME - AN RTE RADIO 1 PLAYBACK PICK
The Poetry Programme, RTÉ Radio 1, Sunday 3 April 2022, 7pm
An interview with Louis de Paor was broadcast on The Poetry Programme on 3 April 2022. He was reading from his newly-published dual language double collection Crooked Love / Grá fiar. The Poetry Progamme played some extracts from The Lyric Feature's broadcast version of the sequence Lá dá raibh/ One Day, with music by the American composer Dana Lyn.
A recording was played of Louis reading ‘The Ministry for Birds’ in Irish, taken from The Lyric Feature broadcast, followed by him reading the poem in English in the studio. He then read ‘The Shop’ in Irish, which was followed by a recording of the English version taken from The Lyric Feature. Finally, he read ‘Flags’ / ‘Bratacha’ in Irish and English, then ‘Visiting’ / Ar Cuairt’ in Irish – both from section V of Crooked Love / Grá fiar.
‘Louis de Paor is one of Ireland's leading Irish-language poets and was a key figure in the Irish language literary renaissance of the 1980s and 90s, editing the influential Irish-language journal Innti for a time. Since 2000 he has been Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. He joins presenter Olivia O'Leary to read from his dual-language book Crooked Love/Grá fiar (Bloodaxe Books/Cló Iar-Chonnacht, 2022). The book contains the sequence Lá dá raibh/One day, which conjures an imaginary village in the west of Ireland and was first performed as a collaboration with Brooklyn-based composer Dana Lyn at the Irish Arts Center in New York in 2014. It was adapted as a dual-language radio feature that was broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm and Raidió na Gaeltachta in 2021 and is available to listen back to via a QR code in the book.’
First item (from 04:48). Listen here.
An extract from Louis de Paor’s interview on The Poetry Programme was chosen by Sinéad Mooney for Playback on 9 April. She chose The Lyric Feature recording of Louis reading ‘The Ministry for Birds’ in Irish, which was followed by his reading the poem in English in the studio. His new double collection Crooked Love / Grá fiar was credited.
Louis features from 31:05. Listen here.
The Lyric Feature: One Day / Lá dá raibh is still available to listen to. The feature won the Gold Award in the New York Festivals Radio Awards in the ‘Culture & The Arts’ documentary category in April 2022.
RADIO PLAY ON LYRIC FM WRITTEN & NARRATED BY LOUIS DE PAOR
The Lyric Feature: One Day / Lá dá raibh, RTÉ Lyric FM, first broadcast Sunday 14 March 2021, rebroadcast Sunday 27 February 2022, 6pm in English, 6.30pm in Irish
One Day tells the story of a day in the life of a fictional small village in the west of Ireland. Written and narrated by Louis de Paor, with music by the American composer Dana Lyn. The radio premiere was broadcast on 14 March 2021 on The Lyric Feature. The play was rebroadcast on 27 February 2022 to mark publication of Crooked Love/Grá fiar, which includes the sequence One Day / Lá dá raibh. The book includes QR codes which enable readers to listen to the radio feature in either English or Irish while reading the poems. The English translation is by Kevin Anderson.
‘Equal parts radio play, poetry and music, One Day / Lá dá raibh combines words by Irish poet Louis de Paor with music by New York-based composer Dana Lyn. One Day / Lá dá raibh tells the story of a day in the life of a small village in the west of Ireland, where the dead and the living meet both historical characters and others from the speaker’s own imagination. It was first performed live at the Irish Arts Center in New York as part of the Masters in Collaboration series, and has now been adapted for radio. The work is narrated by Louis de Paor, who plays the role of a writer in his sitting room writing the poem and speaking it aloud to himself.’
Listen in English:
Listen in Irish:
The whole feature (English version first):
RADIO INTERVIEWS WITH LOUIS DE PAOR
The Poetry Programme, RTE Radio 1, Sunday 15 April 2018, 7.30pm
A joint interview with Louis de Paor and bilingual poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa aired on The Poetry Programme on 15 April. Both read some of their own poems, most of them in both Irish and English, and they talk about their differing approach to translating their work into English. Louis expressed his concerns about the future of the Gaeltacht areas of Ireland where Irish is being spoken less and less as a first language.
Louis’s bilingual anthology Poems of Repossession gets a mention, but the focus is on their own poetry. Louis de Paor's first Irish-English bilingual collection The Brindled Cat and the Nightingale’s Tongue was co-published by Bloodaxe and Cló Iar-Chonnachta in 2014.
Click here to listen
RADIO INTERVIEWS WITH LOUIS DE PAOR ABOUT HIS ANTHOLOGY OF 20TH-CENTURY POETRY IN IRISH
The Poetry Programme, RTE Radio 1, Saturday 7 January 2017, 7.30pm
Louis de Paor was interviewed in depth about his anthology Leabhar na hAthghabhála / Poems of Repossession on RTE Radio 1's The Poetry Programme on 7 January 2017. Presenter Rick O’Shea introduced the item as follows:
‘The past twelve months have seen the publication of a number of intriguing and popular anthologies, but the most significant and impressive has to be Leabhar na hAthghabhála/Poems of Repossession, an anthology of modern poetry in Irish from the past century with English translations.’ – Rick O’Shea, The Poetry Programme
Louis de Paor read a short extract in English from Eoghan O Tuairisc’s poem ‘Aifreann na marbh / Mass of the dead’, then Derry O'Sullivan’s Marbhghin 1943 / Stillbirth 1943 (reading in Irish only) and Biddy Jenkinson’s ‘Inion leinn nbParas/A female student in Paris’ (Irish and English).
‘Leabhar na hAthghabhála / Poems of Repossession is an impressive anthology of poetry in Irish from the past century with English translations. Editor Louis de Paor chooses some poems from the anthology and talks about his desire to make this work visible to a wider audience.’
Click here to listen (intro & final item, from 12.00)
Arena, RTÉ Radio 1, Tuesday 12 April 2016, 7-8pm
A sixteen-minute interview with Louis de Paor ran on RTÉ Radio 1’s Arena on 12 April. He was speaking about his new anthology of 20th-century Poetry in Irish, Leabhar na hAthghabhála / Poems of Repossession.
Louis de Paor began by putting his new anthology into context, explaining how it forms a sequel to Seán Ó Tuama and Thomas Kinsella’s groundbreaking 1981 anthology, An Duanaire 1600-1900 / Poems of the Dispossessed, which covered poetry in Irish from the 17th to the 19th century. The new anthology covers 20th-century poetry in Irish, but with the largest proportion coming from the mid-40s to the 1960s. Louis de Paor described Irish language poetry as a ‘substantial and necessary part of 20-century Irish literature’.
Louis read the whole of Michael Davitt’s poem ‘O my pair of Palestinians’ (translated by Paul Muldoon) in both Irish and English, and he read part of the Irish and the whole of the English translation of Gearóid Mac Lochlainn’s ‘Second tongue’. The programme ended with a song from Caitlin Maude, who has two poems in the anthology.
Click here to listen to the programme
Údar Cainte (Author Talk), Raidióna Gaeltachta, Thursday 7 July 2016, 5.05-5.55pm
A 7-minute interview with Louis de Paor about his bilingual anthology of 20th- century poetry in Irish aired on Raidióna Gaeltachta’s Údar Cainte (Author Talk) programme on 7 July. The interview was conducted in Irish.
Click here to listen & scroll down to find chapter with Louis de Paor.
In July 2018 Louis de Paor presented No Egos No Divas, a half-hour feature about Irish language poetry on BBC Radio 4. No longer available to listen to, but details here.
[25 July 2019]