Famous Poets from Ireland

List of notable or famous poets from Ireland, with bios and photos, including the top poets born in Ireland and even some popular poets who immigrated to Ireland. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Irish poets then this list is the perfect resource for you. These poets are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known poet from Ireland is included when available.

List includes Oscar Wilde, Seamus Heaney and more.

This historic poets from Ireland list can help answer the questions "Who are some Irish poets of note?" and "Who are the most famous poets from Ireland?" These prominent poets of Ireland may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Irish poets.

Use this list of renowned Irish poets to discover some new poets that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
Photo: Freebase / Public domain

  • Brendan Behan
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Brendan Francis Aidan Behan (christened Francis Behan) ( BEE-ən; Irish: Breandán Ó Beacháin; 9 February 1923 – 20 March 1964) was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Irish writers of all time.An Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army, Behan was born in Dublin into a staunchly republican family becoming a member of the IRA's youth organisation Fianna Éireann at the age of fourteen. However, there was also a strong emphasis on Irish history and culture in the home, which meant he was steeped in literature and patriotic ballads from an early age. Behan eventually ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 41 (1923-1964)
    • Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  • Cathal Ó Searcaigh
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Cathal Ó Searcaigh is a modern Irish language poet. His work has been widely translated, anthologised and studied. "His confident internationalism", according to Theo Dorgan, has channelled "new modes, new possibilities, into the writing of Irish language poetry in our time". From 1975 onwards he has produced poetry, plays, and travelogues. His early poetry deals with place, tongue and tradition, with his late work showing a broader scope. His work includes homoerotic love poems. Jody Allen Randolph remarks "his breaking down of stereotypes and new deployment of gendered themes opened a new space in which to consider alternate sexualities within a contemporary Irish context." The critic ...more
    • Age: 66
    • Birthplace: Gortahork, Republic of Ireland
  • Cecil Day-Lewis (or Day Lewis) (27 April 1904 – 22 May 1972), often writing as C. Day-Lewis, was an Anglo-Irish poet and the Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1968 until his death in 1972. He also wrote mystery stories under the pseudonym of Nicholas Blake. During World War II, Day-Lewis worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information for the UK government, and also served in the Musbury branch of the British Home Guard. He is the father of Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, a noted actor, and Tamasin Day-Lewis, a documentary filmmaker and television chef.
    • Age: Dec. at 68 (1904-1972)
    • Birthplace: Ballintubber, Republic of Ireland
  • Colm Tóibín
    Photo: Uif Anderson / Getty Images
    Colm Tóibín (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkɔl̪ˠəmˠ t̪ˠoːˈbʲiːnʲ]; born 30 May 1955) is an Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet.Tóibín is currently Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University and succeeded Martin Amis as professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Liverpool in 2017.Called "a champion of minorities" by Arts Council director Mary Cloake as he collected the 2011 Irish PEN Award, that same year John Naughton of The Observer included Tóibín among his list of Britain's three hundred "public figures leading our cultural discourse" — ...more
    • Age: 67
    • Birthplace: Enniscorthy, Republic of Ireland
  • Dennis O'Driscoll
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    Dennis O'Driscoll (1 January 1954 – 24 December 2012) was an Irish poet, essayist, critic and editor. Regarded as one of the best European poets of his time, Eileen Battersby considered him "the lyric equivalent of William Trevor" and a better poet "by far" than Raymond Carver. Gerard Smyth regarded him as "one of poetry's true champions and certainly its most prodigious archivist". His book on Seamus Heaney is regarded as the definitive biography of the Nobel laureate.
    • Age: Dec. at 58 (1954-2012)
    • Birthplace: Thurles, Republic of Ireland
  • Edward Dowden (3 May 1843 – 4 April 1913), was an Irish critic and poet.
    • Age: Dec. at 69 (1843-1913)
    • Birthplace: Cork, Republic of Ireland