Patrick Kavanagh, one of Ireland’s greatest poets, was born in Inniskeen in 1904 and lived his first 35 years on a small farm here. He was the fourth of nine children born to small farmers and in this house filled with the noise and activity of shoemaking, pig-rearing and young children, Patrick Kavanagh began to write.
When his first volume was published, ‘Ploughman and other Poems’ in 1936, he was still a working farmer. Born into modest means and living through decades of great hardship in Ireland, Kavanagh struggled financially for most of his lifetime. As a poet, he often felt isolated, on the margins of society. Much of his poetry adopts a confessional tone as he reveals his inner conflicts and soul questions.
He finds inspiration and comfort in nature, and in his treasure-trove of Monaghan memories. Today his legacy lives on through the universal themes of soul, love, beauty, nature and God laid bare in the great gift of his poetry. It is indeed, a legacy of the soul.
- Ploughman and Other Poems, Macmillan (London), 1936.
- The Great Hunger: A Poem, Cuala, 1942, Irish University Press, 1971.
- A Soul for Sale: Poems, Macmillan (London), 1947.
- Recent Poems, Hand Press, 1958.
- Come Dance With Kitty Stobling, and Other Poems, Longmans, Green, 1960, Dufour, 1964.
- Collected Poems, Devin-Adair, 1964.
- The Complete Poems of Patrick Kavanagh, edited by brother, Peter Kavanagh, Hand Press, 1972.
- Lough Derg, Goldsmith, 1978, Martin Brian & O’Keefe, 1978.
- (With Tom Mac Intyre) The Great Hunger: Poem into Play, Lilliput Press (Mullingar, CO), 1988.
- La Gran Hambre, y Otros Poems: Una Seleccion de la Poesia de Patrick Kavanagh, Universidad de Valladolid (Valladolid, Germany), 2000.
- The Green Fool (fictionalized autobiography), M. Joseph, 1938, Harper, 1939, Martin Brian & O’Keefe, 1971.
- Tarry Flynn: A Novel, Pilot, 1948, Devin-Adair, 1949, Martin Brian & O’Keefe, 1972.
- 1958-59 (Author of afterword) Peter Kavanagh, Irish Mythology: A Dictionary, three volumes, Hand Press.
- Self Portrait (autobiographical television script), Dolmen, 1964.
- (Author of introduction) W. Steuart Trench, Realities of Irish Life, MacGibbon & Kee, 1966.
- Collected Pruse, MacGibbon & Kee, 1967.
- (Author of introduction) The Autobiography of William Carleton, MacGibbon & Kee, 1968.
- (With Peter Kavanagh) Lapped Furrows: Correspondence, 1933-1967, Between Patrick and Peter Kavanagh, With Other Documents, edited by Peter Kavanagh, Hand Press, 1969.
- (With Peter Kavanagh and others) Love’s Tortured Headland: A Sequel to Lapped Furrows (correspondence), edited by Peter Kavanagh, Hand Press, 1974.
- By Night Unstarred: An Autobiographical Novel, edited by Peter Kavanagh, Goldsmith, 1977, Hand Press, 1978.
- Lough Derg, Goldsmith Press (The Curragh, Ireland), 1978.
- (With Peter Kavanagh and others) Kavanagh’s Weekly: A Journal of Literature and Politics (anthology), Goldsmith, 1981.
- No Earthly Estate: God and Patrick Kavanagh: An Anthology, Columba Press (Dublin, Ireland), 2002.
- Almost Everything, Claddagh, 1964.
- November Haggard: Uncollected Prose and Verse of Patrick Kavanagh,edited by Peter Kavanagh, Hand Press, 1971.
- A Patrick Kavanagh Anthology, edited by Eugene Robert Platt, Commedia, 1973.
- (Selected and introduced by) Selected Poems of Ivor Gurnery, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
- Columnist for Standard, 1943 and 1946-49, Irish Press, under name Piers Plowman, 1942-44, Envoy, 1949-51,Creation, 1957, Irish Farmers’ Journal, 1958-63, National Observer, 1959-60, and RTV Guide, 1964-66. Contributor of numerous poems, articles, and reviews to periodicals, including Bell, Dublin, Dundalk Democrat, Horizon, Irish Weekly Independent, Irish Times, Irish Writing, Nimbus, Nonplus, Poetry, Studies, and X. Writer, editor, and publisher for Kavanagh’s Weekly: A Journal of Literature and Politics, 1952.
“On the stem of memory imaginations blossom.”
- Allison, Jonathan, Patrick Kavanagh: A Reference Guide, G.K Hall (New York City), 1996.
- Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 22, Gale, 1982.
- Cronin, Anthony, Heritage Now: Irish Literature in the English Language, St. Martin's, 1982.
- Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale, Volume 15: British Novelists, 1930-1959, 1983, Volume 20: British Poets, 1914-1945, 1983.
- Kavanagh, Patrick, Self Portrait, Dolmen, 1964.
- Kavanagh, Peter, Sacred Keeper: A Biography of Patrick Kavanagh, Goldsmith, 1979.
- Nemo, John, Patrick Kavanagh, Twayne, 1979.
- O’Brien, Darcy, Patrick Kavanagh, Bucknell University Press, 1975.
- Warner, Alan, Clay Is the Word: Patrick Kavanagh, 1904-1967, Dolmen, 1973.
- Agnew, Una, The Mystical Imagination of Patrick Kavanagh ‘ A Buttonhole in Heaven’
- Quinn, Antoinette, Patrick Kavanagh A Biography
- Swan, Desmond, Apocalypse of Clay. A Study of Patrick Kavanagh’s Masterpiece ‘The Great Hunger’ and Ireland’s Coming of Age
- Commonweal, March 17, 1939.
- Irish University Review, spring, 1973.
- Library Journal, November 15, 1995, p. 92.
- New Yorker, April 10, 1965, December 9, 1967.
- New York Times Book Review, February 26, 1939, August 24, 1947, May 23, 1965.
- Poetry, June, 1965.
- Saturday Review of Literature, March 25, 1939, September 20, 1947, January 21, 1950.
- Spectator, June 3, 1938, July 31, 1964, February 17, 1979.
- Times Literary Supplement, October 24, 1936, October 22, 1938, May 17, 1947, August 12, 1960, August 27, 1964, May 4, 1967, June 13, 1980, July 31, 1981.
- New York Times, December 1, 1967.
- Time, December 8, 1967.
- Times (London), December 1, 1967.
- Washington Post, December 1, 1967.
- Kavanagh, Peter, 1978. Patrick Kavanagh Country, The Curragh: Goldsmith Press.
- Kavanagh, Peter, 2003. Beyond Affection, New York: The Peter Kavanagh Hand Press.
- Kavanagh, Peter, 2003. Piling Up The Ricks, New York: The Peter Kavanagh Hand Press.
- Quinn, Antoinette, Ed., 2011. Patrick Kavanagh, A Poet’s Country: Selected Prose. Dublin: The Lilliput Press.