Desmond O’Grady (1935-2014)
[Desmond O’Grady] was, in the true sense, a citizen of world poetry, a fine translator and a very fine poet. His life was a voyage of discovery . . .
Billy Mills, The Guardian
Desmond O’Grady was born in Limerick in 1935 and spent most of his childhood in West Clare and the Irish-speaking districts of County Kerry. His first book, Chords and Orchestrations, was published in 1956, and he published numerous other collections of poems and translations.
The Gallery Press published Sing Me Creation (1977), The Headgear of the Tribe: Selected Poems (1978); A Limerick Rake (Versions from Irish, 1978) and His Skaldcrane’s Nest (1979).
He was a friend of Ezra Pound for many years until the poet’s death and the influence of that maestro is reflected in O’Grady’s translations from a wide variety of poets in the classical and modern languages culminating in his publication of The Gododdin, a free verse version of the Middle Welsh heroic poem of Aneirin.
A member of Aosdána he was one of the founders of the European Community of Writers and was the European editor of The Transatlantic Review.
Desmond O’Grady died in 2014.