Richard Murphy

Richard Murphy at the Louis MacNeice Centenary Conference & Celebration
Richard Murphy © Paul Maddern

Richard Murphy, now in his eighties, is one of Ireland’s most distinguished poets. He is particularly known for poems that draw on the landscape and history of the west of Ireland. His Collected Poems (Gallery Press) was published in 2000, his acclaimed autobiography The Kick (Granta Books) in 2003. His awards include the Cheltenham Award and the American-Irish Foundation Award.

‘Richard Murphy’s verse is classical in a way that demonstrates what the classical strengths really are. It combines a high music with simplicity, force and directness in dealing with the world of action. He has the gift of epic objectivity: behind his poems we feel not the assertion of his personality, but the actuality of events, the facts and sufferings of history’ (Ted Hughes).

The following recordings were made at the Louis MacNeice Centenary Celebration and Conference at Queen's University, Belfast in September 2007.

Simon Armitage

A River of Notebooks

'A Temple Tree...'

The Reading Lesson

Morning Call

Sun Up

'The Calamity of Seals...'


Vice-regal walls dominate the backstreets...

'A nectar-soaked bee...'

Rite of Passage

© All recordings copyright Richard Murphy and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry.

Richard was reading with Moonshine and Nick Laird.