Poet and author John F Deane has been named Mayo County Council Writer in Residence 2015. He is the latest name on a long list of writers to have held residencies in Mayo over the years, including Ré Ó Laighléis, Seán Lysaght, Máire Holmes, John Breen, Paddy Bushe, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Biddy Jenkinson, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde, Manchán Magan and Diarmuid de Faoite.
Born on Achill Island in 1943, Deane founded Poetry Ireland and The Poetry Ireland Review in 1979. He has published several acclaimed collections of poetry and some fiction, and been honoured with several major national and international awards, including the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry, the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, Golden Key Award from Serbia, and the Laudomia Bonanni Prize from L’Aquila, Italy. He has also been been shortlisted for both the TS Eliot prize and The Irish Times Poetry Now Award and held residencies in Bavaria, Monaco and Paris.
The Aosdána member’s recent poetry collections include ‘Snow falling on Chestnut Hill: New & Selected Poems’, published by Carcanet in October 2012. His latest fiction, a novel, ‘Where No Storms Come’, was published by Blackstaff in 2010. A new collection of poems, ‘Semibreve’, was published this year by Carcanet, alongside ‘Give Dust a Tongue’, published by Columba.
John F Deane directed the Force 12 Writer’s Festival in Belmullet in 2006, and he is looking forward to connecting with Mayo writers again. While in Mayo, he will facilitate writing workshops with a number of writing groups throughout the county, and he will also work on a one-to-one basis with a number of individual Mayo writers.