Ciaran Carson

Ciaran Carson

Ciaran Carson hold bothin his son Manus (who has a bib on) and an accordion

Copyright © Rachel Geise Brown. Used by permission of the photographer.

Ciaran Gerard Carson (1948-), Irish poet. He was born in Belfast on 9 October 1948. He attended St. Mary's Christian Brothers' School in Belfast before going on to Queen's University, Belfast, where he graduated with honors in July 1971. In the final year of its gathering, 1971-1972, Carson participated in the Belfast group of poets and writers, a gathering of young literary talents organized originally by Philip Hobsbaum at Queens University, Belfast in 1963. After publishing poems in various newspapers and magazines, Carson's first chapbook The Insular Celts appeared in 1973. From 1974-1975 he taught school in Belfast; before joining the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as Traditional Arts Officer in 1976. In 1978, Carson received the Eric Gregory Award for his first book of poems, The New Estate. Three years later he published another chapbook The Lost Explorer (1979). Eight years passed before Carson completed his next volume of poems, The Irish for No (1987), which received the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award. Belfast Confetti (1989), a volume closely related to the 1987 collection, received similar critical success, winning the Irish Times/Aer Lingus prize for poetry. From 1979 to 1987, Carson continued writing poems and prose pieces including an Appletree Press guide book called Irish Traditional Music, published in 1986. A flutist himself, Carson returned ten years later to a more extensive examination of Irish music with the 1996 publication of the widely heralded Last Night's Fun: About Time, Food and Music. The art of story-telling continued to be a significant aspect of Carson's poetry as seen in First Language, a collection of poems awarded the first T. S. Eliot Prize for the outstanding book of poetry published in Great Britain in 1993. This volume demonstrated Carson's interest in translation including Ovid's Metamorphoses as well as poems written "after" Irish and French originals. 1996 witnessed the publication of Opera Et Cetera, which included a sequence of translations from the Romanian of Stefan Augustin Doinas. Returning to his roots, The Star Factory, Carson's memoir and homage to the Belfast of his childhood followed in 1997. Leaving the Arts Council in October 1998 to work as a full-time writer, Carson has emerged as one of the major contemporary writers working in English, publishing numerous books of poetry and translations. In 1998, he was appointed a Professor of English at Queen’s University Belfast, where he established the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. (Ciaran Carson papers, circa 1970-2010)

Force-directed ego graph of people, places, and organizations directly connected to Ciaran Carson.


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  • Fallon, Peter, 1951- VIAF - colleague


  • Queens University, Belfast Wikipedia - worksFor, alumniOf
  • Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry VIAF - founderOf
  • Arts Council of Northern Ireland. VIAF - worksFor
  • gatherings of writers known simply as "the group." VIAF - affiliation