Artist of the Month – Martin Dyar

By: Philomena Barry

Athlone Community Radio is proud to present Martin Dyar as the Artist for the month of September. To support local art, every month Athlone Community Radio dedicates a space to local artists, musician, poets and writers and feature their work in a chance for them to get discovered.

Our Artist of the Month, Martin Dyar, is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and essayist from Co Mayo.

He earned an MA in English Literature at NUI Galway and a PhD in English Literature at Trinity College Dublin, where he wrote his thesis on the poet Wallace Stevens. He subsequently lectured in the fields of medical ethics and medical humanities in the School of Medicine at Trinity. He currently teaches in the MA in Writing program at NUI Galway, and is Associate Writer Fellow in poetry at the University of Limerick.

His poetry has received a number of honours including the StrokestownInternational Poetry Award, which he received in 2001. 

His debut collection, Maiden Names, won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2009, was a book of the year selection in both the Guardian and the Irish Times, and was shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize.

He has written a play, Tom Loves a Lord, about the life and work of the Irish poet Thomas Moore; and also, with the composer Ryan Molloy, a poetry song cycle for soprano, harp and flute, entitled Buaine Na Gaoithe, which had an Irish national tour in October 2018.

His work is included in the anthologies Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916, and Everything to Play For: Ninety-nine Poems About Sport – and his poem ‘Death and the Post Office’ has been added to the Leaving Cert Prescribed Poetry Syllabus. 

Martin has also been the recipient of an Irish Arts Council Bursary Award for Literature. In 2013-14 he was the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Writing Fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

In 2017 he was appointed Writer in Residence at the Washington Ireland Program. That same year, he became Writer in Residence at the University of Limerick, a position previously held by author Donal Ryan.

Earlier this year, Martin was announced as Athlone’s second John Broderick Writer in Residence, a position he will take up very soon, and if his residency is in any way similar to that of his predecessor, Annemarie Ni Churreain, the writers of the town are in for a real treat!

Martin Dyar on ACR88.4, interviewed by Philomena Barry for her programme For Arts Sake