Kinsella, Thomas 1928-
KINSELLA, Thomas 1928-
PERSONAL: Surname accented on first syllable; born May 4, 1928, in Dublin, Ireland; son of John Paul (a trade unionist and brewery worker) and Agnes (Casserly) Kinsella; married Eleanor Walsh, December 28, 1955; children: Sara, John, Mary. Education: University College, Dublin, diploma in public administration, 1949.
ADDRESSES: Home—Killalane, Laragh, County Wicklow, Ireland. Office—English Department, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19103, and Peppercanister Press, 47 Percy Ln., Dublin 4, Ireland.
CAREER: Poet. Irish Civil Service, Dublin, Ireland, Land Commission, junior executive officer, 1946-50, Department of Finance, administrative officer, 1950-60, assistant principal officer, 1960-65; Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, poet-in-residence, 1965-67, professor of English, 1967-70; Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, professor of English, 1970-90, founding director, Temple-in-Dublin Irish Tradition program, 1976—. Founding director, Peppercanister Press, Dublin, 1972—; director, Dolmen Press Ltd. and Cuala Press Ltd., Dublin. Artistic director, Lyric Players Theatre, Belfast, Ireland.
MEMBER: Irish Academy of Letters.
AWARDS, HONORS: Guinness Poetry Award, 1958, for Another September; Irish Arts Council Triennial Book Award, 1961, for Poems and Translations; Denis Devlin Memorial Award, 1964-66, for Wormwood, 1967-69, for Nightwalker and Other Poems, and 1988 and 1994; Guggenheim fellowships, 1968-69, 1971-72; Before Columbus Foundation award, 1983; D.Litt., National University of Ireland, 1984. Another September and Downstream were Poetry Book Society choices.
The Starlit Eye, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1952.
Three Legendary Sonnets, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1952.
Per Imaginem, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1953.
The Death of a Queen, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1956.
Poems, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1956.
Another September, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1958, revised edition, 1962.
Moralities, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1960.
Poems and Translations, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1961.
(With John Montague and Richard Murphy) Three Irish Poets, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1961.
Downstream, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1962.
Wormwood, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1966.
Nightwalker and Other Poems, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1967.
Nightwalker and Other Poems, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1968, Knopf (New York, NY), 1969.
Tear, Pym-Randall (Cambridge, MA), 1969.
Finistere, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1971.
Notes from the Land of the Dead: Poems, Cuala Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1972, published as Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 1973.
Butcher's Dozen: A Lesson for the Octave of Widgery, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1972, revised edition, 1992.
A Selected Life, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1972.
Vertical Man: A Sequel to A Selected Life, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1973.
The Good Fight: A Poem for the Tenth Anniversary of the Death of John F. Kennedy, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1973.
New Poems, 1973, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1973.
Selected Poems, 1956-1968, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1973.
One (also see below), Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1974.
A Technical Supplement, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1975.
Song of the Night and Other Poems, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1978.
The Messenger, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1978.
Poems, 1956-1973, Wake Forest University Press, 1979.
Peppercanister Poems, 1972-1978 (also see below), Wake Forest University Press (Winston-Salem, NC), 1979.
Fifteen Dead (also see below), Dufour (Dublin, Ireland), 1979.
Peppercanister Poems, 1972-1978 [and] Fifteen Dead, Wake Forest University Press (Winston-Salem, NC), 1979.
One and Other Poems, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1979.
Poems, 1956-76, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1980.
One Fond Embrace, Deerfield Press (Hatfield, MA), 1981.
Songs of the Psyche, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1985.
Her Vertical Smile, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1985.
Out of Ireland, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1987.
St. Catherine's Clock, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1987.
Blood and Family, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1989.
Personal Places, Dedalus (Dublin, Ireland), 1990.
Poems from Centre City, Dedalus (Dublin, Ireland), 1990.
Open Court, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1991.
Madonna and Other Poems, Peppercanister (Dublin, Ireland), 1991.
Collected Poems, 1956-1994, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1996.
The Pen Shop, Dufour Editions (Chester Springs, PA), 1997.
The Familiar, Dufour Editions (Chester Springs, PA), 1999.
Godhead, Dufour Editions (Chester Springs, PA), 1999.
Citizen of the World, Dufour Editions (Chester Springs, PA), 2000.
Littlebody, Dufour Editions (Chester Springs, PA), 2000.
TRANSLATOR FROM THE GAELIC
Longes Mac n-Usnig, Being the Exile and Death of the Sons of Usnech, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1954.
Thirty Three Triads, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1955.
The Tain, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1969, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1970, reprinted, 1985.
(With Sean O'Tuama) Sean O'Tuama, editor, An Duanaire—An Irish Anthology: Poems of the Dispossessed, 1600-1900, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1980, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1981.
(Contributing editor) The Dolmen Miscellany of Irish Writing, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1962.
(With W. B. Yeats) Davis, Mangan, Ferguson?: Tradition and the Irish Writer (essays), Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1970.
(Editor) Austin Clarke, Selected Poems, Wake Forest University Press (Winston-Salem, NC), 1976.
(Editor) Sean O'Riada, Our Musical Heritage (lectures on Irish traditional music), Gael-Linn, 1981.
(Editor and translator from the Gaelic) The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1986.
(With John Montague and Brendan Kennelly) Myth, History, and Literary Tradition, Dundalk Arts (Dundalk, Ireland), 1989.
The Dual Tradition: An Essay on Poetry and Politics in Ireland, Carcanet (Manchester, England), 1995.
Also contributor of poetry to Six Irish Poets, edited by Robin Skelton, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1962. Recorded Patrick Galvin and Thomas Kinsella Reading Their Poems (sound cassette), 1980.
SIDELIGHTS: In a New York Times Book Review article, Calvin Bedient maintained that Thomas Kinsella "can hardly write a worthless poem." He is "probably the most accomplished, fluent, and ambitious Irish poet of the younger generation," according to New York Times Book Review critic John Montague, while Dictionary of Literary Biography essayist Thomas H. Jackson judged that Kinsella's "technical virtuosity and the profound originality of his subject matter set him apart from his contemporaries." He "seems to me to have the most distinctive voice of his generation in Ireland, though it is also the most versatile and the most sensitive to 'outside' influences," M. L. Rosenthal indicated in The New Poets: American and British Poetry since World War II.
Kinsella has described himself as coming from "a typical Dublin family," Jackson reported. His father, a longtime socialist, was a member of the Labour Party and the Left Book Club, and by means of a series of grants and scholarships Kinsella pursued a science degree at University College in Dublin, where he ultimately obtained a diploma in public administration. He entered the Irish civil service in 1946, but, with the encouragement of his wife in particular, also pursued his craft. During those early years, he met Liam Miller, founder of Dolmen Press, who published several of Kinsella's works; later, Kinsella became a director of the press. He also established an important friendship at that time with Sean O'Riada, a musician described by a Times Literary Supplement critic as "the most distinguished of modern Irish composers," who became, in Jackson's words, "a much-loved participant in [Kinsella's] growing intellectual life. O'Riada expressed in his life as much as in his music what seems to be a current Irish ambition in the arts—namely, to contain the world in the capacious and elegant vessel of the Irish imagination and tradition," explained the Times Literary Supplement critic.
Kinsella, too, "has explored Irish themes more and more in his later verse," wrote Jackson, "but only in terms of exploring his own consciousness and consciousness in general." His poems since 1956, Kinsella once told CA, have been "almost entirely lyrical—have dealt with love, death and the artistic act; with persons and relationships, places and objects, seen against the world's processes of growth, maturing and extinction." By the time he wrote Nightwalker and Other Poems, which was first published in 1968, he had become "more and more concerned—in longer poems—with questions of value and order, seeing the human function (in so far as it is not simply to survive the ignominies of existence) as the eliciting of order from experience—the detection of the significant substance of the individual and common past and its translation imaginatively, scientifically, bodily, into an increasingly coherent and capacious entity; or the attempt to do this, to the point of failure." A Times Literary Supplement reviewer characterized Kinsella's earlier poems as "on the whole less distraughtly introspective than [his more] recent work" but indicated that "they display the same fine knack of delving deeply into self-communion while staying nervously responsive to an actual world."
"All Kinsella's finest [early] poems are written in partial forfeiture to the inevitable destruction of life and pleasure," Calvin Bedient stated in Eight Contemporary Poets. The theme of his first major collection Another September, according to Jackson, "is order, the fruit of art, which in Kinsella's view is one major form of the mind's stance against mutability and corruption." Most of the poems in that volume, particularly "Baggot Street Deserta," confront "with stoic acceptance the grim fact of loss as a chief keynote of life," Jackson commented. In Kinsella's eyes "life is a tide of loss, disorder, and corruption, and the poetic impulse is an impulse to stem that tide, to place form where time leaves disorder and pain." Kinsella's collection Downstream, which includes five poems published earlier as Moralities, also conveys a "preoccupation with the passing of time—change as dying, change as birth—that has marked Kinsella's poetic mind from very early on," noted Jackson.
In Downstream Kinsella "turns more to the things people actually do in and with their lives. That many of the poems' titles refer to jobs, types of people, and life choices signals the linkage of the temporal and the abstract, the deeply buried and the visibly lived." This volume includes the "earliest of Kinsella's journey poems," pointed out Jackson, including "A Country Walk" and "Downstream." And in the opinion of John D. Engle in Parnassus, these are Kinsella's "most lasting early poems."
Beginning with Downstream and continuing with the short sequence Wormwood and the cumulative Nightwalker and Other Poems, "Kinsella emerged as a master not of slick verse but more saddened, more naked, more groping—of a poetry of subdued but unrelenting power," Bedient stated. "Here surfaced a poetry that, if almost completely without a surprising use of words, all being toned to a grave consistency, has yet the eloquence of a restrained sorrow, a sorrow so lived-in that it seems inevitable. With its sensitive density of mood, its unself-conscious manner, there is nothing in this poetry for other poets to imitate. Its great quality is the modesty and precision of its seriousness."
The poem "Nightwalker" itself is "a long nocturnal meditation on Ireland past and present, on the poet's consciousness as a source of order amid decay and betrayal," Jackson related. In the view of Dennis Paoli, writing in Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century, through the Nightwalker collection Kinsella laments "the near destruction of the Irish language in the [eighteenth century] and satirizes its institutionalization in the [twentieth]."
The culminating entry in Nightwalker and Other Poems, "Phoenix Park," is a journey poem described by Jackson as "an ambitious composition that shows how far the poet has come since his earliest work. The title is the name of Dublin's largest park, but it bears connotation of the phoenix itself, the bird that rises from the ashes of its own cremation to live another millennium." John Montague, writing in New York Times Book Review, referred to the poem as the poet's "farewell to Ireland, in the shape of a drive with his wife along the Liffey [River], as well as an extension of the theme of married love." The poet and his wife, who are about to leave Dublin, drive past "various places meaningful to them," according to Jackson, and "the poet recalls their significance or associations . . . ; he reviews symbolic moments of his life, where he partook of possibilities which his children came to pursue or re-enact."
Modern travel poems like these face "a solitary consciousness towards place and time yet do not, as it were, sit still, are not even ostensibly at rest, but move through the world, continually stimulated to new observations, reactions, associations," Bedient observed. "Cast through space, these poems bring a flutter to the tentativeness of consciousness, which they heighten. They ride on motion the way, and at the same time as, the mind floats on duration.... They say that life is only here and now, and fleeting, a thing that cannot stand still," Bedient explained, "and more, that space is as unfathomably deep as time, in time's body, but at least outside ourselves, both mercifully and cruelly outside. The poems increase the sense of exposure to existence as actual travel renews and magnifies the sensation of living."
As the couple in "Phoenix Park" pass by familiar landmarks, Jackson reported, "the lovers' marriage is seen as a powerful form which overcomes loss and the chaos of life. Their love is 'the one positive dream' to which the speaker of 'Phoenix Park' refers as the exception to the fact that 'There's a fever now that eats everything.' . . . He expatiates on the implications of their love as evincing the 'laws of order,' on their love as ordeal, a continual wounding and healing, and a continual growing, and arrives at a sense of existence as a necessary ordeal—when we think we have attained some abstract 'ultimate,' living must end."
After the publication of Nightwalker and Other Poems, Kinsella left the civil service to enter academic life and become a full-time writer. He also set up Peppercanister Press at his home in Dublin, primarily to publish limited editions of his works in progress. Butcher's Dozen: A Lesson for the Octave of Widgery, the press's first publication, was described by M. L. Rosenthal in the New York Times Book Review as a "rough-hewn, deliberately populist dream-visionary poem" on the 1972 shooting-down of thirteen demonstrators in Derry by British troopers and the investigation that followed. But, according to Edna Longley in the Times Literary Supplement, "despite these latent social and political contours," Kinsella's writing "overwhelmingly takes the traditional form of self-searching. (It is a deeper question whether the extreme isolation of his poetic persona owes more to culture than to idiosyncrasy.)"
Butcher's Dozen was revised in 1992 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the slayings. In 1999 Explicator critic Neville Newman revisited the poem and found that "phantoms represent the dead civilians and address a variety of national and cultural issues." In the poem, the bitter irony Kinsella uses to describe the attack takes the form of a satire on the children's rhyme "Tom, Tom the Farmer's Son." "The pig of the children's verse becomes the acronym by which the armored personnel carriers of the type deployed against the protesters are known," noted Newman. A reference to a "hooligan" running away puns on the Irish surname Houlihan, reflecting "the way that a long-established anti-Irish bias on the part of the British has passed into day-to-day language." And Kinsella's poetic assessment of the official investigation—which failed to prove that the Irish protesters were armed at the time they were killed—provides "observation that a life was lost for nothing more than 'throwing stones,'" as Newman quoted Kinsella, and "emphasizes the overreaction of the British to the incident."
Kinsella once indicated to CA that his poetry of this time begins to involve a turning "downward into the psyche toward origin and myth," and that it is "set toward some kind of individuation." The theme of his next major work, Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems, according to a Times Literary Supplement critic, "is the spiritual journey from despair and desolation, 'nightnothing,' to a painful self-renewal." The poems in this work abandon syntax, Jackson commented, "because they have left the world to which syntax is relevant and moved to the world of dream, phantasm, and myth, the world in short of psychic exploration."
The volume includes an untitled prologue that Jackson described "as a mystical version of a Kinsellan wandering poem [which] recounts the speaker's descent into a psychic underworld, a reversion to the embryo stage." And "the low point of coherent consciousness in this exploration is [the poem] 'All Is Emptiness and Must Spin,'" related Jackson. John D. Engle explained in Parnassus that in Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems, "Kinsella heads down, a quest hero, into the past and subconscious; he would retrieve the scary flotsam of memory, a dying old harpy of a grandmother or, perhaps, obsessive shadowplays drawn from a childhood reading of the Book of Invasions, Ireland's ancient and wild Genesis. After the confusing bobs and weaves of something like a plot, he bears back his prize: a new awareness, at once modest and enough to change one's life."
Discussing Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems in the New York Times Book Review, Bedient found Kinsella's style "an almost constant pleasure," but also complained that, here, "Ireland's best living poet has brooded himself to pieces." Vernon Young mentioned in Parnassus the fact that, for many years, Kinsella translated "The Tain," an eighth-century Irish epic, "and in that translation you can find both the savage emblems and the bleak outlook of the independent poems [in Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems]: as if the repetitive sanguinary deeds of the epic (to my mind a monotonously vindictive chronicle without a tremor of mercy or grace) had been used to compound the lethal evidence of mindless struggle forecast by the origin of the species."
However, Engle remarked that "the poetry of Notes is not as extravagantly disheveled as it occasionally seems, and what comes dressed as nihilism turns out to be something else." Kinsella was influenced by Jung, according to Jackson, and "where the earlier work was so concerned with the idea of suffering and pain as the motives of growth, the ordeal as a linear meeting of successive tests, these new poems take up the Jungian idea of a creative union of opposites. The ordeal of suffering and growth becomes the more comprehensive rhythm of destruction and creation, decay and regeneration, death and birth."
Kinsella continues in the same thematic direction with Peppercanister Poems, 1972-1978, which, along with the poem "Butcher's Dozen," includes meditations on the deaths of Kinsella's father and his friend, Sean O'Riada, and, according to Jackson, several poems "dealing with the poet's family history and himself as artist." And in an eight-poem sequence "One," Engle commented, Kinsella "plunges again through the crust of appearance into this region of process and origin. The eight poems send his thoughts again into a hoard of personal and common memory, back to his own childhood and further still to merge with those of Ireland's first wave of settlers.... This is Jung country."
"Jung and Kinsella's idea that creation and destruction, love and hate, life and death are interinvolved is an attempt to reclaim the wholeness of existence, not to deny its beauty," Jackson commented. "The poems here actually enact that stance: out of the death of a friend, of a father, or political matters comes poetry before our very eyes. Nor is being rooted in the prerational the same as being confined to it." Kinsella, Engle indicated, "is at home now in darkness, the secret shadows where we create and were created. If he invites us into a world that at times proves too elaborately personal, if he tries to do too much with his poems, these are generous blunders. They shouldn't obscure the fact that Kinsella is a serious poet of invention and honesty." Rosenthal concluded that "he is among the true poets, not only of Ireland but among all who write in English in our day."
Blood and Family is a collection of five of Kinsella's pamphlets, originally published by his own Peppercanister Press. The sections (originally pamphlets) of the book, which "include a sequence about the poet's childhood, a homage to Mahler, and an elegy for . . . Sean O'Riada, find their orders in disorder," noted William Logan in the New York Times Book Review. Noting the popularity of younger Irish poets, Logan continued, "Mr. Kinsella can still entertain the tragic possibilities, and his powerful recollective passions serve as an affront to a present that can only serve the past. His new poems are his darkest, and the least vulnerable to easy understanding." Kieran Quinlan, writing for World Literature Today, also commented on the complexity of the work, concluding, "This is difficult poetry that will offer only to some its hard-won satisfactions."
Personal Places and Poems from Centre City, both published in 1990, "extend and enrich" the poet's "focal emphasis on the most immediate and vivid data of concrete personal experience," found Tom Halpin in his review for the Irish Literary Supplement. To Halpin "the former deals with endings and beginnings, the dislocations inseparable from any attempt at continuity," while Poems from Centre City focuses on Kinsella's life in Dublin, including his writing mentors and family memories. Of Poems from Centre City, Elizabeth Gaffney stated in the New York Times Book Review that "the visions of Ireland in this idiosyncratic, melancholy collection ultimately cohere around the suggestion that another path might have permitted fulfillment of greater passion," while Times Literary Supplement contributor Steven Matthews felt that "the concentrated, vigorous, passionate sense of loss and betrayal in this book promises a revelatory renewal beyond the limits of our foul ascending city." Adam Thorpe, writing in the Listener, praised both volumes as "worth their weight in gold," finding them "both harrowing and uplifting." Halpin concluded, "In Personal Places and Poems from Centre City the sure-footed control of Kinsella's voice—a variegated blend of sorrow, compassion, love, anger and humor—earns at the end of each sequence its right to affirm and celebrate, however paradoxically but with no hint of irony, the capacity of poetry to face the worst within and without, and more than weather it in the process of imaginative transformation."
In The Dual Tradition: An Essay on Poetry and Politics in Ireland, Kinsella examines the concept that "Literature in Ireland is not divided but dual, and to consider either of its parts in isolation from the other is to diminish both," as Patricia Craig wrote in the Times Literary Supplement. This refers in part to "the hidden Ireland," or the Ireland unknown to the non-Irish speaker. Kinsella, like Yeats, writes about this "hidden Ireland," but is not a Gaelic speaker. According to Carol Rumens in the New Statesman & Society, Kinsella had examined this personal divide in his 1966 composition for the Modern Language Association, but she found that "his prose [in The Dual Tradition] carries little of that earlier energy and conviction." "He offers a politically sensitized historic overview that nevertheless reflects a poet's primary concerns," felt Rosenthal, this time writing for Ploughshares. In a review for World Literature Today, William Pratt recommended The Dual Tradition to "any reader who is not Irish, since it makes distinctions that are exclusively ethnic, unrelated to artistic merit." Craig concluded that the book adds up to "a succinct history of poetry in Ireland, in Irish and English—a brisk run through the centuries."
As the twentieth century drew to a close, Kinsella produced the 1997 collection The Pen Shop and followed that with such fin-de-siècle works as The Familiar, Godhead, and Citizen of the World. The Pen Shop finds the poet on a "leisurely stroll though Dublin," according to Pratt of World Literature Today, where Kinsella writes of such places as the O'Connell Bridge, Bewley's Oriental Café, and the titular Pen Shop. Pratt found all this "evocative of [James] Joyce's Dublin," particularly in Kinsella's mixing of reality and fantasy. But the reviewer also wondered if Kinsella had deliberately set out to produce poems Pratt characterized as "slight." In the critic's view, "Kinsella seems to be frittering away his talents in trivialities at this late point in his career." "Slight," though, was hardly the word David Lloyd used to describe the 2001 collection, Citizen of the World. Indeed, "this is [poetry] that doesn't pander to the reader," wrote Lloyd. "Few people or places are identified beyond the briefest phrase, few situations fleshed out, or social or historical contexts illuminated." The title piece is a portrait of the English novelist Oliver Goldsmith, using a quote from the writer to explore the theme of a mind "not at ease."
The poetry of Kinsella, as George O'Brien summed up in the Reference Guide to English Literature, "is a commitment to negotiate the leap of artistic faith which alone can overcome the abyss of unjustifiable unknowing that is the mortal lot." O'Brien singled out Kinsella's "composed and graceful suspension" and concluded that his "anti-romantic conception of poetry, which entails giving tongue to darkness rather than to fire, identifies Kinsella as a crucial reviser of the Irish poetic tradition and a major figure in the problematic history of poetry in English during the postwar years."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Badin, Donatella Abbate, Thomas Kinsella, Twayne, 1996.
Bedient, Calvin, Eight Contemporary Poets, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1974.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 4, 1975, Volume 19, 1981.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 27: Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, 1945-1960, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1984.
Dunn, Douglas, editor, Two Decades of Irish Writing, Dufour, 1975.
Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999, pp. 639-640.
Harmon, Maurice, The Poetry of Thomas Kinsella: "With Darkness for a Nest," Wolfhound Press, 1974.
Jackson, Thomas H., The Whole Matter: The Poetic Evolution of Thomas Kinsella, Syracuse University Press (Syracuse, NY), 1995.
John, Brian, Reading the Ground: The Poetry of Thomas Kinsella, Catholic University of America Press, 1996.
Kersnowski, Frank L., The Outsiders: Poets of Contemporary Ireland, Texas Christian University Press, 1975.
Kinsella, Thomas, Nightwalker and Other Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 1969.
Kinsella, Thomas, Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems, Knopf (New York, NY), 1973.
Orr, Peter, editor, The Poet Speaks: Interviews with Contemporary Poets, Routledge, 1966.
Reference Guide to English Literature, second edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1991, pp. 817-818.
Rosenthal, M. L., The New Poets: American and British Poetry since World War II, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1967.
Rosenthal, M. L., Poetry and the Common Life, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1974.
Viewpoints: Poets in Conversation with John Haffenden, Faber, 1981.
Agenda, autumn, 1997, review of The Pen Shop, p. 191.
America, March 16, 1974; March 18, 1995, review of Poems from Centre City, p. 30.
Books in Canada, June, 1988, review of Notes from the Land of the Dead, p. 4.
Choice, February, 1996.
Commonweal, June 6, 1980.
Eire-Ireland, number 2, 1967; spring, 1968, p. 108; summer, 1979, pp. 80-82.
Explicator, spring, 1999, Neville Newman, "Kinsella's 'Butcher's Dozen,'" p. 173.
Genre, winter, 1979.
Hollins Critic, October, 1968, John Rees Moore, review of Nightwalker, pp. 11-12.
Hudson Review, winter, 1968-69; spring, 1996, review of Poems from Centre City, p. 170.
Irish Literary Supplement, fall, 1988, review of St. Catherine's Clock and Out of Ireland, p 34; fall, 1990, Tom Halpin, review of Poems from Centre City and Personal Places, p. 19; spring, 1998, review of The Dual Tradition: An Essay on Poetry and Politics in Ireland, p. 13.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1999, review of Godhead and The Familiar, p. 1773.
Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, January, 1990, review of The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse, p. 27.
Listener, July 5, 1990, Adam Thorpe, review of Poems from Centre City and Personal Places.
Literary Review, winter, 1979, pp. 139-140.
Nation, June 5, 1972.
New Statesman, November 9, 1973; January 16, 1987, review of Poems, 1956-1973, p. 30.
New Statesman & Society, December 23, 1988, review of Blood and Family, p. 36; June 2, 1995, Carol Rumens, review of The Dual Tradition, p. 46.
New York Times Book Review, August 18, 1968; June 16, 1974; February 24, 1980; May 28, 1989, William Logan, review of Blood and Family, p. 24; December 24, 1995, p. 11; December 31, 1995, Elizabeth Gaffney, review of Poems from Centre City, p. 11.
Parnassus, spring-summer, 1975; spring, 1981.
Ploughshares, fall, 1996, M. L. Rosenthal, review of The Dual Tradition, p. 243.
Poetry, January, 1975.
Publishers Weekly, June 18, 2001, review of Citizen of the World, p. 78.
Shenandoah, summer, 1998, review of Collected Poems, 1956-1994, p. 116.
Stand, spring, 1990, review of One Fond Embrace and Blood and Family, p. 14; autumn, 1995, review of Poems from Centre City, p. 72.
Times Literary Supplement, October 5, 1967; December 18, 1969; December 8, 1972; August 17, 1973; November 23, 1973; December 19, 1980; May 30, 1986, review of Songs of the Psyche and Her Vertical Smile, p. 585; September 13, 1991, Steven Matthews, review of Poems from Centre City and Personal Places, p. 26; July 3, 1992, review of Open Court, p. 28; August 27, 1993, review of Butcher's Dozen: A Lesson for the Octave of Widgery, p. 12; June 17, 1994, review of Poems from Centre City, p. 28; September 13, 1996, p. 26; January 26, 1996, Patricia Craig, review of The Dual Tradition, p. 26.
Village Voice, March 14, 1974.
World Literature Today, winter, 1991, review of Blood and Family, p. 123; autumn, 1996, William Pratt, review of The Dual Tradition, p. 967; winter, 1998, William Pratt, review of The Pen Shop, p. 147; summer, 1998, Kieran Quinlan, review of Collected Poems, 1956-1994, p. 622; winter, 2002, David Lloyd, review of Citizen of the World, p. 153.
Yale Review, spring, 1962, Thom Gunn, review of Poems and Translations, pp. 486-487.*