Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Considered to be the most experimental of the contemporary Irish poets, Kinsella is credited with bringing the techniques of international modernism to Irish verse. Educated by the Christian Brothers and at University College Dublin (James Joyce's alma mater), he entered the Civil Service in 1946. He published his first collection, The Starlight Eye (1952) with Dolmen Press, helping to set the type himself. He has also translated extensively from Irish, most notably, the Old Irish epic An Táin Bó Cuailgne published as An Táin (1969) and An Duanaire—Poems of the Dispossessed (1981). In 1972 he founded the Peppercanister Press to publish Butcher's Dozen, a pamphlet poem written in response to the British government's findings on Northern Ireland's Bloody Sunday events. In 1986 he edited The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Other work includes Poems from City Centre (1990) and Madonna and Other Poems (1991). His awards include Guggenheim Fellowships (1969, 1971) and the Denis Devlin Memorial Award (1966, 1969, 1992). He taught in the U.S. for many years and initiated and administered the Irish Tradition study program in Dublin until 1992. He lives in County Wicklow, Ireland.
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