Reading to be held to remember late Limerick poet

Late Limerick poet Desmond O'Grady.

A SPECIAL reading in memory of the late Limerick poet Desmond O’Grady will be held this month.

As part of April is Poetry Month in Limerick, The Desmond O’Grady Memorial Reading, hosted by the Limerick Writers’ Centre, will take place at The People’s Museum of Limerick on Wednesday April 19 at 7.30pm.

Guest readers will include American-Irish poet Jamie O’Halloran, Eleanor Hooker, and Kilkenny-born writer Ciaran O’Driscoll.

Of the late Limerick poet, a representative of the Limerick Writers’ Centre said: “Desmond O’Grady was unusual among Irish poets of his generation for both his interest in modernist experimentation and his immersion in the poetry of other cultures. He was, in the true sense, a citizen of world poetry.”

Local poet Eleanor Hooker will be the judge of the Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Competition on the night, and she will announce the winner of this year’s competition after her poetry reading.

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Born in Limerick in 1935, Desmond O’Grady started writing poetry in his teens.

This early work was strongly influenced by TS Eliot and Ezra Pound, whose poems he encountered at weekly meetings of the Limerick Poetry Circle in the White House Bar.

O’Grady “at the age of 19 he moved to Paris to teach English at the Berlitz School and to immerse himself in the artistic life of the city. He met Picasso, moved in the same circles as Beckett and, in 1956, got to know friends of Joyce and published his first book, Chords and Orchestrations, with the financial assistance of his admirers at home in Limerick,” according to the Limerick Writers’ Centre.