My Mother-City

Gerald Dawe

About the book…

For three decades, Gerald Dawe has chronicled the difficult yet exhilarating interface where personal experience meets political and cultural realities.The title essay; My Mother-City, traces the altering map of Belfast in the late 50s and 60s, through to the critical years of the Troubles and beyond, with some of the city's leading artists profiled, including Van Morrison, Stewart Parker and Brian Moore.

Bit Parts is a familial exploration with Dawe uncovering the actual past underneath the clutter of northern stereotypes. The lives of his great-grandparents and grandparents reveal a teeming and vibrant world often ignored by politicians and cultural critics alike.


Photo of the author, Gerald Dawe

About the author…

Belfast-born poet Gerald Dawe was educated at Orangefield School in the city and at the University of Ulster. His first poems were published in the early 1970s in various Irish and British newspapers and magazines including London Magazine, Stand, New Irish Writing and broadcast on BBC and RTE. 

He worked briefly as a librarian in the Fine Arts Department of Belfast Central Library before moving in 1974 to Galway on the west coast of Ireland where he lived and taught at University College Galway for many years. Since 1992 he has lived in Dublin where he is Professor in English and Fellow of Trinity College Dublin.

Gerald Dawe has published seven collections with Gallery Press: Selected Poems (2012), Points West (2008), Lake Geneva (2005), The Morning Train (1999), Heart of Hearts (1995), Sunday School (1991), The Lundys Letter (1985) and, with Blackstaff Press, Sheltering Places (1978).

Lagan Press published its first title with Gerald Dawe’s chapbook of essays, How’s the Poetry Going? (1991). Since then Lagan has published Dawe’s highly-regarded memoir, My Mother-City (2007), The World as Province: Selected Prose 1980-2008 (2009), Conversations: Poets & Poetry 1981-2010 (2011) and, forthcoming, The Stoic Man: Poetry Memoirs. Lagan Press has also published collections edited/co-edited by Gerald Dawe including Stewart Parker: ‘High Pop’, the Irish Times Column (with Maria Johnston 2009), Padraic Fiacc: Ruined Pages: New Selected Poems (with Aodan Mac Poilin 2013) and Heroic Heart: A Charles Donnelly Reader (with Kay Donnelly 2012).

Among his awards Gerald Dawe is a recipient of Arts Council of Ireland Bursaries for Poetry, The Macaulay Fellowship in Literature, Hawthornden International Writers Fellowship, Ledig-Rowholt International Writers Fellowship and a Moore Institute Fellowship. He has given readings in many parts of the world and his poetry has been translated into French, German, Italian and Japanese. 

Dawe has held visiting professorships in North American universities and an archive of his papers is held at the Burns Library, Boston College.