About Catherine Phil MacCarthy

Catherine Phil MacCarthy

Catherine Phil MacCarthy
(Photo credit: Stephanie Joy)

From the start, MacCarthy has turned language into something both lush and precise at the same time, ranging from richly evoked memories of her Limerick childhood and of early love, to etched moments of spare clarity. Often, her poems flesh out the full layers of meaning in a simple moment that is flawlessly registered. At other times, and with the same concision, MacCarthy condenses the heartbreak of an Irish short story.
O’Shaughnessy Award 2014 Citation (Link here)

Catherine Phil MacCarthy was born in Co. Limerick and studied at University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, and Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She taught at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), 1977-85, and at The Drama Centre, University College Dublin, from 1991-1999. (link to Island’s Edge interview)

The Arts Council, An Comhairle Ealaíon, have awarded her a Bursary in Literature towards each of her poetry collections, most recently in 2013 and 2020.

She received the eighteenth Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry of the University of St Thomas Center for Irish Studies in April 2014 (see above). She recently completed an artist’s residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris during Spring 2013 (further details can be found here).

Her poetry is included in Poetry International (2014) (link), Jeune Poésie d’Irlande: Poètes du Munster 1960-2015, an anthology of contemporary Irish poetry (link) and in the Contemporary Poetry section of Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature V.

She is a former editor of Poetry Ireland Review (Numbers 57, 58, & 59). Writer in Residence for the City of Dublin (1994), and at the Department of Anglo-Irish Literature, University College, Dublin (2002), she has also worked as guest writer at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology, and at St. Patrick’s College.