John Liddy

John Liddy was born in Cork, Ireland in 1954. He grew up in Limerick and Graduated fom the University of Wales. He currently works as a teacher/librarian in Madrid, Spain. A regular reader at the White House Poetry Revival sessions, he is the founding editor, along with Jim Burke, of The Stony Thursday Book (1975 -), one of Ireland's longest running literary reviews. In 2000, this publication saw it re-established under a policy of rotating yearly editorships. The Autumn of 2012 saw its thirty-seventh issue under the editorship of poet and artist, Jo Slade((/£&)

John Liddy's publications to date include: Boundaries (1974), The Angling Cot (1991), Song of the Empty Cage (1997), Wine and Hope (1999), Cast-A-Net (2003), The Well: New and Selected Poems (2007), Gleanings (2010). Also forthcoming is a Spanish translation, by Francisco Rivera, of The Angling Cot (La Barca de la Arena) and also Ivory Down, a translation of 'Tosigo Ardento' by José Maria Álvarez. A collection of stories for children, The Very Very Very Clever Little Fox, is also pending.("!)

JULY 2014

John featured, along with Brian Blaney in the first of the Mid Summer Lunch Time Poetry readings in the Captain's Room at the Hunt Museum on July 10th.

The lunchtime readings continued, with a different pairing of poets on consecutive Thursdays, until 31st July 2014.





After each visit we looked back

from the road across the field

to delight in you waving us home

with a tea towel I wished

we could have waved for you.

/... (stanza one of five)("!)





In the Occupied Territories

there are Jewish only roads,

People wait at checkpoints

to have their arms stamped.

/... (stanza one of nine)("!)





Because of an ache

in his bones he set out

with his baggage of love-loss

to probe the boundaries

beyond the tribe.

/... (stanza one of six)("!)


What they said:-

The birthplace may be Cork but the soul of this poet is a Limerick soul, Limerick bred, coddled and exiled. ... in his exile, his performances and his editorial work, maintains an honoured and distinctive Limerick tradition of cosmopolitan homeliness and distant yearning. He is the inheritor of that tendency to be elsewhere; to be in Rome like Desmond O'Grady or in New York like Frank McCourt. Each note he sings in these poems, each interjection he offers, is saturated with a native centredness, with a possessive sense of exile.

  - Thomas McCarthy (from the Introduction to Gleanings)

The Irish poetry scene needs poets like John Liddy who can demonstrate by the practice of their craft that an Irish poet can make a valuable contribution not only to his own Irishliterary culture but to the European poetry scene in general. 

- Michael Smith
I salute these three people, Wolfgang Gorschacher, John Liddy and Jim Kemmy who recognised the genius in the poetry of Desmond O'Grady and got him to talk about himself and his views about everything in literature, history, philosophy and poetry, expression and creation, relevant to his life - and all our lives. I drew from these conversations and chose elements which I felt would encourage a greater interest in the poet himself and his poems.

- Bernard 'Barney' Sheehan (in the Acknowledgement to Desmond O'Grady's My Limerick Town which he edited and published)

Desmond O'Grady  Brian Blaney  Bernard 'Barney' Sheehan