Eamon Grennan Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Although Eamon Grennan (GREH-nahn) is celebrated principally for his poetry collections, he also is a respected critic and translator of Irish poetry. He has written reviews for Dublin Magazine, Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry London, The New Republic, and the Times Literary Supplement on various topics, including new Irish writing, the plays of George Fitzmaurice, medieval Irish lyrics, James Joyce, and Irish poetry since Patrick Kavanagh. He has penned a major work on Irish poetry in the twentieth century and translated several important poetic works.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Eamon Grennan is recognized by many fellow poets for his uncanny constructions of bicultural, international poetic works. In 2003, he received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his Still Life with Waterfall. Commenting on the award, poet Robert Wrigley referred to Grennan’s ability to reward the reader by means of clarification across international and cultural barriers. Grennan also received the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation (1997), for Selected Poems of Giacomo Leopardi (1995). Leopardi is widely considered as the greatest lyric poet in the Italian literary tradition. Grennan is cited for his unique ability to translate Leopardi’s work into a modern English form that exactly mimics the original intonation. Grennan has also received the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry (1995) and Pushcart Prizes (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005), and “The Curve” was included in The Best American Poetry, 2006, edited by Billy Collins and David Lehman. He has made many personal appearances at poetic events, including the Writers Institute on March 13, 1997, for a Commemoration of the Irish Famine and Celebration of Irish Literature with Peter Quinn.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Baker, Timothy. “’Something Secret and Still’: Silence in the Poetry of Eamon Grennan.” Mosaic 42, no. 4 (December, 2009): 45-63. Compares Grennan to Yves Bonnefoy and examines how his poetry “reveals the world through notions of silence and absence.”

Boran, Pat. Flowing, Still: Irish Poets on Irish Poetry. Syracuse, N.Y.: Dedalus Press, 2009. The introduction presents a thoughtful and well-organized overview of Irish poets and poetry. It is quite useful for understanding the place of Irish poetry in the modern world. Grennan’s section, “That Blank Mouth: Secrecy, Shibboleths, and Silence in Northern Irish Poetry,” gives the reader insight into his unique ability to present the ordinary as extraordinary. Includes bibliographical references and index.

Brophy, James D. Contemporary Irish Writing. Boston: Twayne, 1983. The section by Grennan, “That Always Raised Voice,” presents his own description of the poet’s personal presence in his works. Contains a general review of modern Irish poetry and prose. Includes an extensive bibliography.

Collins, Billy, and David Lehman, eds. The Best American Poetry, 2006. New York: Scribner Poetry, 2006. Grennan’s “The Curve” demonstrates his ability to present his American viewpoint without abandoning his Irish ancestry. It is this unique...

(The entire section is 423 words.)