MAHON, DEREK, 1941-
Derek Mahon papers, 1948-2014

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zm5r


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Mahon, Derek, 1941-
Title: Derek Mahon papers, 1948-2014
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 689
Extent: 37.5 linear feet (66 boxes) 2 oversized papers boxes (OP), and AV Masters: .25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:Papers of poet Derek Mahon, including correspondence, literary manuscripts, collected printed material, photographs, audiovisual material, legal and financial papers, subject files, and ephemera.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Series 1, Correspondence, selected correspondence is closed except with the permission of the letter writer. Series 10, Unprocessed additions, is closed to researchers.

Special restrictions: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Purchase, 1991 with subsequent additions.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Derek Mahon papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Stephen Enniss, Curator of Literary Collections (review 3/96). Gavin Drummond, Woodruff Library Fellow (Collection reorganized and finding aid revised 3/2001). Jennifer Brady (Additions processed 9/2006 and 6/2008) .


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Derek Mahon was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 23, 1941. He was educated at the Belfast Royal Academical Institution and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he majored in French (1960-1965). In 1960 he began publishing poems in Icarus , a student literary magazine, and in 1965 he received the Eric Gregory Award for poetry. For the next few years, Mahon held a variety of teaching jobs in Ireland, England, France, Canada, and the United States. His first collection of poems, the chapbook Twelve Poems, was published by Queens University in 1965. His first major collection, Night Crossing, was published by Oxford University Press in 1968.

In 1970 Mahon moved to London where he worked as a free-lance journalist, while also serving as drama critic for the Listener (1971-1972) and features editor for Vogue (1974-1975). During the early seventies he contributed frequent reviews to the Observer , the Listener , New Statesman , and the Times Literary Supplement . Also during these years he published two more full-length collections of poems, Lives (1972) and The Snow Party (1975). In 1977 he returned to Northern Ireland as writer in residence at the New University of Ulster, Coleraine.

In 1979 a selection of Mahon's early poetry was published by Oxford University Press, Poems, 1962-1978; that same year he took a position with the BBC writing adaptations for television. Among his many television adaptations are Jennifer Johnston's Shadows on Our Skin and How Many Miles to Babylon?, and Elizabeth Bowen's The Demon Lover and The Death of the Heart.

In 1982 Mahon published The Hunt by Night, and in 1985 the chapbook Antarctica. In 1990 Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon co-edited The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry. In 1991 he received the Lannan Foundation Prize and the following year The Irish Times-Aer Lingus Poetry Prize. After a lengthy silence, Mahon published a chapbook The Yaddo Letter in 1992, followed by the long verse sequence The Hudson Letter in 1995. A collection of his prose work was published in 1996 under the title Journalism.

In 1995 Mahon moved from New York to Dublin, where he still lives, and in the fall of 1997 Gallery Press published The Yellow Book. In 1998, he published his translations of Philippe Jacottet's poetry as Words In the Air. His Collected Poems, also published by Gallery, was released in November 1999; this collection represents, according to the publisher, "the poems the author 'wishes to preserve' from the work of forty years." Some months later, Penguin issued a shorter collection of his poems in the U.K., entitled Selected Poems (2000).

Derek Mahon was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 23, 1941. He was educated at the Belfast Royal Academical Institution and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he majored in French (1960-1965). In 1960 he began publishing poems in Icarus , a student literary magazine, and in 1965 he received the Eric Gregory Award for poetry. For the next few years, Mahon held a variety of teaching jobs in Ireland, England, France, Canada, and the United States. His first collection of poems, the chapbook Twelve Poems, was published by Queens University in 1965. His first major collection, Night Crossing, was published by Oxford University Press in 1968.

In 1970 Mahon moved to London where he worked as a free-lance journalist, while also serving as drama critic for the Listener (1971-1972) and features editor for Vogue (1974-1975). During the early seventies he contributed frequent reviews to the Observer , the Listener , New Statesman , and the Times Literary Supplement . Also during these years he published two more full-length collections of poems, Lives (1972) and The Snow Party (1975). In 1977 he returned to Northern Ireland as writer in residence at the New University of Ulster, Coleraine.

In 1979 a selection of Mahon's early poetry was published by Oxford University Press, Poems, 1962-1978; that same year he took a position with the BBC writing adaptations for television. Among his many television adaptations are Jennifer Johnston's Shadows on Our Skin and How Many Miles to Babylon?, and Elizabeth Bowen's The Demon Lover and The Death of the Heart.

In 1982 Mahon published The Hunt by Night, and in 1985 the chapbook Antarctica. In 1990 Derek Mahon and Peter Fallon co-edited The Penguin Book of Contemporary Irish Poetry. In 1991 he received the Lannan Foundation Prize and the following year The Irish Times-Aer Lingus Poetry Prize. After a lengthy silence, Mahon published a chapbook The Yaddo Letter in 1992, followed by the long verse sequence The Hudson Letter in 1995. A collection of his prose work was published in 1996 under the title Journalism.

In 1995 Mahon moved from New York to Dublin, where he still lives, and in the fall of 1997 Gallery Press published The Yellow Book. In 1998, he published his translations of Philippe Jacottet's poetry as Words In the Air. His Collected Poems, also published by Gallery, was released in November 1999; this collection represents, according to the publisher, "the poems the author 'wishes to preserve' from the work of forty years." Some months later, Penguin issued a shorter collection of his poems in the U.K., entitled Selected Poems (2000).

Scope and Content Note

The Derek Mahon papers are composed of correspondence, literary manuscripts, collected printed material, photographs, audiovisual material, legal and financial papers, subject files, and ephemera from 1948-2014. The papers document Derek Mahon's creative work during the last thirty years. In addition, his writing for television and the stage, as well as his journalistic writing during this period (including his regular "Letter from New York" which he contributed to The Irish Times ), are well documented. The papers also include correspondence with other literary figures, including: Samuel Beckett, Sara Berkeley, Douglas Dunn, Peter Fallon, Brian Friel, Eamon Grennan, Seamus Heaney, Anthony Hecht, Aidan Higgins, Michael Longley, W.S. Merwin, John Montague, Brian Moore, Harold Pinter, and James Simmons. Printed material, either by or about Derek Mahon or collected by him, is also present, as are photographs and financial papers from this same period.

Arrangement Note

Organized into nine series: (1) Correspondence, (2) Writings by Derek Mahon, (3) Writings by others, (4) Printed material, (5) Photographs/Audiovisual material, (6) Legal and financial papers, (7) Subject files, (8) Ephemera, (9) Collected material, and (10) Unprocessed additions.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms

Occupation


Description of Series

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