By Theo Dorgan

What We Found There

Theo Dorgan presents a collection of new poems n which ‘Poets Respond to the Teasures of the National Museum of Ireland’


The National Museum of Ireland / Ard-Mhúsaem na hÉireann is a repository of memory – but also a living place that enriches and challenges the present, that preserves for the future a witness to who we have been. We invited more than forty poets, writing in both English and Irish, to visit any of the Museum’s four collections – Archaeology in Kildare Street, Natural History in Merrion Street, Decorative Arts & History in Collins’ Barracks, Dublin, and Country Life in Turlough Park, Co. Mayo – and to write a poem prompted by this visit. The resulting poems in this anthology are inspired by, in conversation with, the Museum itself and those artefacts and objects from its collections that have engaged the imagination of the poets as they have engaged the imaginations of countless visitors through the years.

“What We Found There reveals itself as a surprisingly rich and inventive collection giving us a vivid snapshot of the contemporary Irish poetic scene, whose diversity it powerfully captures. Hopefully, it will prompt readers both to revisit the museums they have frequented over the years, and to (re)discover poets with whom they may not be very familiar. An enjoyable volume, it deserves to find its place on the bookshelves of anyone with an interest in contemporary poetry, as well as in Ireland’s cultural past.”
—Florence Impens, The Trumpet

ISBN 9781906614867 Paperback
127 x 203 mm, 100 pp

Additional information

Weight ,15 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN : 9781906614867

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.