Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953.


He is a poet, prose writer, documentary screenwriter, editor, translator librettist and broadcaster.

His poetry collections are THE ORDINARY HOUSE OF LOVE (Galway, Salmon Poetry, 1991); ROSA MUNDI (Salmon Poetry, 1995); and SAPPHOS’S DAUGHTER (Dublin, Wave Train Press 1998). In 2008 Dedalus Press published WHAT THIS EARTH COST US, reprinting Dorgan’s first two collections with some amendments. His collection  GREEK (Dublin, Dedalus Press, 2010) was followed by NINE BRIGHT SHINERS in 2014, also from Dedalus. ORPHEUS, his most recent collection, appeared from Dedalus Press in 2018.


SONGS OF EARTH AND LIGHT, his versions from the Slovenian of Barbara Korun, appeared in 2005 (Cork, Southword Editions).BAREFOOT SOULS (UK, Arc Publications 2015) and LIBERTY WALKS NAKED (Cork Southword Editions, 2017) are translations from the French of Syrian poet, Maram al-Masri.


He has a selected poems in Italian, LA CASE AI MARGINI DEL MUNDO, (Faenza, Moby Dick, 1999), as well as an Italian translation of GREEK, ELLENICA (Edizioni Kolibris (2011, Edizioni Kolibris) and of NINE BRIGHT SHINERS, NOVE LUCENTI CORPI CELESTI (2018 Edizioni Kolibris), a selected poems in French, CAHIERS DE POESIE 1 (2014, Presse Sorbonne Nouvelle) and a Spanish translation of Sappho’s Daughter LA HIJA DE SAFO (Madrid, Poesía Hiperión, 2001).


His prose account of a transatlantic crossing under sail, SAILING FOR HOME, was published by Penguin Ireland in 2004. In the same year, his libretto JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, to music by Howard Goodall, was commissioned by and premiered at The Royal Albert Hall, London. (The text was published by Wavetrain Press, Dublin, in 2014, the score is published by Faber.) TIME ON THE OCEAN, A Voyage from Cape Horn to Cape Town, records a second Atlantic crossing, and was published by New Island Books, Dublin, in 2010. His novel, MAKING WAY was published by New Island Books, Dublin, in 2013.

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); THE BOOK OF UNCOMMON PRAYER (Dublin, Penguin Ireland, 2007) and FOUNDATION STONE: Notes towards a Constitution for a 21st century Republic (Dublin, New Island, 2014). He has been series Editor European Poetry Translation Network publications, and Director of the collective translation seminars from which the books emerged.

A former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, he has worked extensively as a broadcaster of literary programmes on both radio and television at home and abroad. He was presenter of Poetry Now on RTÉ Radio 1, and later presented RTÉ’s TV books programme, Imprint. He scripted and presented the BBC/RTÉ series, HIDDEN TREASURES.


Among his awards are the Listowel Prize for Poetry, 1992, The O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry (USA) 2010 and The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2015. He served on The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon 2003 -2008. He lives in Dublin.