Martin Dyar grew up in Swinford, County Mayo. His poetry collection Maiden Names (Arlen House), described by the poet Bernard O’Donoghue as ‘a thrilling new development in Irish poetry’, was shortlisted for both the Pigott Poetry Prize and the Shine/Strong Award.
He won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, and the Strokestown International Poetry Award in 2001. He has written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the life and music of the Irish poet Thomas Moore. His work has been added to the Leaving Cert prescribed poetry syllabus and has been included in the anthologies Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 (Penguin); and Everything to Play For: Ninety-nine Poems About Sport (Poetry Ireland).
Martin has an MA in English Literature from NUI Galway and a PhD in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin, where for ten years he taught in the TCD School of Medicine. He has also taught writing at Southern Illinois University and at NUI Galway.
Formerly a fellow in creative writing at the University of Iowa, and a writer in residence at the Washington Ireland Programme, he is the 2018 Arts Council writer in residence fellow at the University of Limerick. A song cycle, Buaine Na Gaoithe, created with the composer Ryan Molloy and the soprano Francesca Placanica, will have an Irish tour Oct 2018.
Praise for Maiden Names
‘Martin Dyar's narratives about the strangeness of the everyday have a vividness and colour which are a thrilling new development in Irish poetry. Their eloquence and life clear the boards of anything tired or familiar, making room for the language of poetry to move into new areas to cope with the central moments of people's lives. This is a book of real importance and originality.’ – Bernard O’Donoghue
‘Funny, astute, marvellously judged, and a genuinely new voice.’ – Roy Foster.
‘Poignant and incisive.’ – Eimear McBride.
‘Martin Dyar is a poet writing close to the bones and stones of a real Ireland.’ - Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin