Brendan Kennelly was born in Co Kerry in 1936. He has published over thirty books of poetry. His early poetry includes Cast a Cold Eye (with Rudi Holzapfel, Dublin, The Dolmen Press, 1959); The Rain, the Moon (with Rudi Holzapfel, The Dolmen Press, 1961); The Dark About Our Loves (with Rudi Holzapfel, Dublin, John Augustine and Co, 1962); and Green Townlands (with Rudi Holzapfel, Leeds, University Bibliography Press, 1963).
His novels are The Crooked Cross (Dublin, Allen Figgis, 1963) and The Florentines (Allen Figgis, 1967). His early prose is collected as Journey into Joy: Selected Prose (ed. Ake Persson, Bloodaxe Books, 1994).
He edited The Penguin Book of Irish Verse (Penguin Books, London, 1970); Between Innocence and Peace: Favourite Poems of Ireland (Cork, Mercier Press, 1993); Ireland’s Women: Writings Past and Present (with Katie Donovan and A. Norman Jaffares, London, Gill & Macmillan, 1994); and Dublines (Bloodaxe, 1996).
He is the author of a version of Euripides’ Medea (Peacock Theatre, Dublin, 1990, published by Bloodaxe Books, Tarset, UK, 1991); and Euripides’ The Trojan Women (Peacock Theatre, published by Bloodaxe Books, 1993).
Many later poetry collections followed, and his most recent are published by Bloodaxe. He was Professor of Modern Literature at Trinity College, Dublin for over 30 years, and retired from that post in 2005. His official biography, Brendan Kennelly: Behind the Smile was published by Raglan Books. He now teaches part-time in the US and lives in Dublin.