Literature Research Guide: Poetry

This guide highlights resources available from the McClelland Library to anyone who has interest in poetry. The McClelland Library owns many poetry titles and can be found by searching our catalog.


Anthologies & Non-Fiction

100 Island Poems of Great Britain and Ireland edited by James Knox Whittet Call Number: 821.9208 On2 Publication Date: 2005

Celebrating the hundreds of varied islands scattered off Britain’s coast, this anthology features such well-known poets as Heaney, MacCaig, and MacDiarmid. 

Ireland in Poetry: with Paintings, Drawings, Photographs, and other works of art edited by Charles Sullivan 

Call Number: 821.00803 Ir25 Publication Date: 1995

In this anthology of Irish poetry and art, Sullivan has selected 150 poems and 120 works of art to evoke Ireland’s natural bounty, history, people and hopes for the future. The poems date from the time of the Celtic invasion to the present. 

Ireland’s Other Poetry: Anonymous to Zozimus edited by John Wyse Jackson and Hector McDonnell 

Call Number: 821.008 Ir28 Publication Date: 2007

With over 400 entries, there’s sure to be a poem for everyone! Topics include food, philosophy, ghosts, war, as well as religious propaganda and music-hall bawdry–just to name a few.

Irish Poetry After Yeats: Seven Poets by Austin Clarke; edited by Maurice Harmon Call Number: 821.9108 Ir46 Publication Date: 1979

This anthology covers the major aspects of Irish poetry since Yeats as seen in the works of twentieth century poets: Austin Clarke, Patrick Kavanagh, Denis Devlin, Richard Murphy, Thomas Kinsella, and Seamus Heaney.

The Midnight Court: A Rhythmical Bacchanalia from the Irish of Bryan Merryman; translated by Frank O’Connor 

Call Number: 891.6214 M5528m Publication Date: 1945

The Midnight Court is a canonical eighteenth-century text widely considered to be the greatest comic Irish poem. The poem addresses a wide range of themes, from its satirical treatment of sexuality to its social commentary. This volume offers readers a fluid translation and five essays that contextualize the poem. 

New Collected Poems by Eavan Boland 

Call Number: 821.914 B6375n Publication Date: 2008

Presents the collected poems of Irish poet Eavan Boland, featuring nine volumes published between 1967 and 2001, including two poems from the 1962 chapbook “23 Poems,” and a section from an unpublished verse play. 

New Collected Poems by Eavan Boland 

Call Number: 821.914 B6375n Publication Date: 2008

Presents the collected poems of Irish poet Eavan Boland, featuring nine volumes published between 1967 and 2001, including two poems from the 1962 chapbook “23 Poems,” and a section from an unpublished verse play. 

New Selected Poems 1966-1987 by Seamus Heaney 

Call Number: 821.914 H35n Publication Date: 1990

A collection of poems previously published by Irish poet Seamus Heaney. 

Penguin Book of Irish Verse introduced and edited by Brendan Kennelly Call Number: 821.00809 P3766 Publication Date: 1970

In this collection of poems Kennelly emphasizes the fusion of Irish and Anglo-Irish poetry, with the beauty of many Gaelic poems rendered into eloquent English by Frank O’Connor. The whole spectrum of Irish verse is covered, with anonymous and lesser-known poems standing alongside those by famous writers.

A Place Too Small for Secrets by Paddy Kennelly 

Call Number: 821.914 K391p Publication Date: 2002

Narrative poems about a small Irish village. 

Poetry of the Law: From Chaucer to the Present edited by David Kader and Michael Stanford 

Call Number: 821.008 P7528 Publication Date: 2010

Poetry of the Law is the first serious anthology of law-related poetry ever published in the United States. The collection has 100 poems spanning from the 1300s to the present. The poems celebrate justice or decry the lack of it, ranging in tone from witty to sad to infuriating. Irish contributors include Jonathon Swift, Oscar Wilde, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland. 

Poets from the North of Ireland edited by Frank Ormsby 

Call Number: 821.91208 P7529 Publication Date: 1979

This collection of poetry presents the full spectrum of twentieth century Northern Irish poetry from the contemplative John Hewitt to the highly crafted work of Seamus Heaney. 

A Treasury of Irish Saints: A Book of Poems by John Irvine with drawings by Ruth Brandt

Call Number: 821.912 Ir83t Publication Date: 1964

Events in the lives of Ireland’s saints are depicted in these fourteen verses.

Voices and Poetry of Ireland 

Call Number: 821.00894 V8708 Publication Date: 2005

Not only is this a collection of over thirty of Ireland’s best-loved poems, but those poems are read by celebrities such as Sinead O’Connor and Pierce Bronson on the accompanying CD. 

Voices at the World’s Edge: Irish Poets on Skellig Michael edited by Paddy Bushe; foreword by Marie Heaney; photographs by John Minihan 

Call Number: 821.914 V8703v Publication Date: 2010

Paddy Bushe invited some of Ireland’s best-known poets to travel him to Skellig Michael, to spend the night and to write of the experience at the onetime edge of the world. Despite its proximity to the mainland, Skellig Michael is not well known to the casual visitor. For 700 years after its foundation in the 6th century, the monastery was home to a monastic community, one of the earliest settlements in Ireland. 

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An Anthology of Irish Verse edited with an introduction by Padraic Colum

Call Number: REF 821.08 An1 Publication Date: 1948

Arranged along national themes, the 181 poems in this unique anthology were expertly selected by the most esteemed Irish-American poet, professor and critic of his generation.

Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney 

Call Number: REF 829.3 B4501b Publication Date: 1999

In this new translation, Seamus Heaney produced a work that is both true, line by line, to the original poem, and an expression of something fundamental to his own creative gift. Beowulf is one the great epics and classics of European literature. It is a tale of its hero’s triumphs as a warrior and his fated death as defender of his people.

The Celtic Poets: Songs and Tales from Early Ireland and Wales translated and introduced by Patrick K. Ford 

Call Number: REF 891.6212 F755c Publication Date: 1999

Patrick K. Ford has translated and collected material used for his undergraduate course that focuses on the function of the poet from the earliest times through the Middle Ages. The selections either describe or illustrate such function, rather than a broad representative view.

Even the Daybreak: 35 Years of Salmon Poetry edited by Jessie Lendennie

Call Number: REF 821.91408 Ev23 Publication Date: 2016

Salmon Poetry’s celebratory anthology highlights Irish, American, British and European poets, all of whom represent the vibrancy of contemporary literature-distinct in style, voice, and geography.

Every Stoney Acre has a Name: A Celebration of the Townland in Ulster edited by Tony Canavan 

Call Number: REF 941.6 Ev277 Publication Date: 1991

This is a collection of essays and poems by academics and local historians on the history and significance of townlands to the people of Ulster, from Donegal to Donaghadee.

Prayer Against Famine and Other Irish Poems by John Knoepfle 

Call Number: REF 811.54 K754p Publication Date: 2004

John Knoepfle transforms a search for his Irish roots into a meditation on human suffering and survival.


Winter in the Eye: New and Selected Poems by Joan McBreen 

Call Number: REF 821.914 M121w Publication Date: 2003

This collection brings together more of her recent work, with poems selected from the previous collections. It captures her elegant and finely-tuned lyric voice.


The Poolbeg Book of Irish Poetry for Children collected by Shaun Traynor; illustrated by Marianne Lee 

Call Number: 821.008 P784 Children Publication Date: 1997

A treasure trove of Irish poetry, classic and contemporary, for children. From the past– Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats – to the present – Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, Brendan Kennelly – readers young and old will be captivated by this collection. 

The Wolfhound Book of Irish Poems for Young People selected by Bridie Quinn and Seamus Cashman 

Call Number: 821.008 W8333 Children Publication Date: 1975

The poet’s eye shares with the child’s eye clarity, freshness and accuracy. These are qualities associated with Irish poetry, and the poems in this collection.