Madwomen Reading Series - Thomas McCarthy

Madwomen Reading Series presents a reading by Thomas McCarthy.

Book table at 7:00pm, Reading at 7:30pm, Reception and book signing follow.

Free and open to the public.

Free parking!

Considered by Dennis O’Driscoll to be, along with Paul Muldoon, the most important Irish poet of his generation, Thomas McCarthy is a poet primarily concerned with politics and family. McCarthy was born and raised at Cappoquin Co. Waterford, and has spent practically all his working life as a librarian in Cork City, except for occasional sabbaticals. He has published nine collections of poetry and two novels. His work’s importance lies in its unremitting and detailed examination of the Republic’s failures and successes as an independent state. Described by Eavan Boland as the first poet born into the Republic to write about it critically, McCarthy has done so from the perspective of a family dedicated and loyal to the state’s most successful and powerful political party: Fianna Fáil. But his poems are not eulogies to the party or apologies for its policies; they are more like an exploration of the party as an object of loyalty and devotion (like a lover objectified) with all the potential such an object has for empowerment and betrayal. In Merchant Prince, a prose novella is bookended by two sequences of poems, all of which are interrelated. His book, The Last Geraldine Officer, features a sequence of prose-poems consisting of the campaign diary of an Irishman serving as an officer in the British army of the Second World War. His latest book, Pandemonium, by Carcanet Press, was published to great acclaim in 2016.

“I’m a realist. I work away in an ordinary manner, making poems and giving workshops.” —Thomas McCarthy

“His voice—with its idiosyncratic tone and verbal texture—registered firmly as one of the most distinctive and it is now one of the most authoritative among poets of his generation.” — Dublin Review of Books

For more information, please contact Sarah Williams-Devereux at or Jan Beatty at Sponsored by Carlow University’s English Department, Creative Writing Program, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and MFA in Creative Writing Program.