Serious, often grave, but inculcated with such sympathy and passion and affection that any obscurity is the enemy. It’s as if what Gerald Dawe has to tell us is so vital that clarity — such a virtue — is a moral matter.
— Richard Ford
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Gerald Dawe was born in Belfast in 1952 and educated at the University of Ulster and University College Galway where he taught for many years. In 1988 he moved to Trinity College Dublin where he was Professor and Fellow and director of Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing until his retirement in 2017. He has also held visiting professorships at Boston College and Villanova University in the United States as well as being Visiting Scholar at the Moore Institute, NUI, Galway and Pembroke College, Cambridge.
His first collection of poems, Sheltering Places (Blackstaff) was published in 1978. His second collection, The Lundys Letter (1985), published by The Gallery Press, was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship in Literature. Other awards include Arts Council Bursaries for Poetry, the Hawthornden International Writers’ Fellowship, the Ledig-Rowholt International Writers’ Award and Moore Institute Fellowship.
He has published various prose collections including The Proper Word (2007), Of War and War’s Alarms (2015), In Another World: Van Morrison and Belfast (2017) and The Wrong Country (2018). His other publications include The Night Fountain: Selected Early Poems of Salvatore Quasimodo (with Marco Sonzogni), Earth Voices Whispering: Irish war poetry, 1914-1945 (both 2008),The Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets (2018). Ethna McCarthy Poems (with Eoin O’Brien, 2019) and a memoir, Looking Through You is forthcoming in 2020. He lives in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.
The Last Peacock celebrates the lives of family and friends while viewing with a questioning and ironic eye the present-day world of conflict and crisis from his ‘eyrie’ in south County Dublin and from the River Lagan following his return to his native Belfast.