By Theo Dorgan

Nine Bright Shiners

2014 collection of elegies and celebrations of life and travel by one of Ireland’s best known poets, winner of the Irish Times Poetry Now Award.


At the heart of Theo Dorgan’s 2014 collection is a sequence of elegies that reflect on early and recent deaths, from the loss of his infant sister to that of a contemporary by suicide. These are poems from a broken world.

The book is unflinching in facing up to death and the poet’s own mortality, but these dark meditations are framed by, subsumed into, whole-hearted celebrations of love, life, art and voyaging.

“While Nine Bright Shiners contains many elegies then, it also contains some of the most moving and beautiful love poems written by any poet writing in English over the last few decades.”
— Philip Coleman, Dublin Review of Books

ISBN 978 1 906614 98 0 Paperback
140 x 216 mm, 144 pp

Additional information

Weight .2 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781906614980 PB
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 144 pp
  • Published: : 2014

About The Author


Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953. He is a poet, prose writer, documentary screenwriter, editor, translator and broadcaster. Dedalus reissued his first two poetry collections, The Ordinary House of Love (1991) and Rosa Mundi 1995) in a single volume, What This Earth Cost Us, in 2008. His most recent collections are Greek (2010) and Nine Bright Shiners (2014). Songs of Earth and Light, his versions from the Slovenian of Barbara Korun, appeared in 2005 (Southword Editions), and his translation of the poems of Maram Al Masri's Barefoot Souls appeared in 2015. He has also published a selected poems in Italian, La Case ai Margini del Mundo (Moby Dick, 1999), and a Spanish translation of his long poem Sappho’s Daughter La Hija de Safo (Poesía Hiperión, 2001). Dorgan's prose account of a transatlantic crossing under sail, Sailing For Home, was published by Penguin Ireland in 2004 and reissued by Dedalus in 2010. His libretto Jason And The Argonauts, to music by Howard Goodall, was commissioned by and premiered at The Royal Albert Hall, London in 2004. A further prose book, Time On The Ocean: A Voyage from Cape Horn to Cape Town, was published by New Island in 2010. He has edited The Great Book of Ireland (with Gene Lambert, 1991); Revising the Rising (with Máirín Ní Dhonnachadha, 1991); Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh (Dublin, Four Courts Press, 1996); Watching the River Flow (with Noel Duffy, Dublin, Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, 1999); The Great Book of Gaelic (with Malcolm Maclean, Edinburgh, Canongate, 2002); and The Book of Uncommon Prayer (Dublin, Penguin Ireland, 2007). A former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, Theo Dorgan has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television. He was presenter of Poetry Now on RTÉ Radio 1, and later presented RTÉ's TV books programme, Imprint.
 His awards include the Listowel Prize for Poetry, 1992, and The O'Shaughnessy Prize For Irish Poetry 2010. A member of Aosdána, he served on The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon 2003–2008. Theo Dorgan lives in Dublin.