O'Flynn, Criostoir 1927–

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O'Flynn, Criostoir 1927–

(Críostóir Ó Floinn)

PERSONAL: Born December 18, 1927, in Limerick, Ireland; son of Richard (a coal seller and saxophonist) and Elizabeth (Connolly) O'Flynn; married Rita Bee-gan, 1952; children: Colm, Ruairi, Caoimhe, Ríonach, Éanna, Niamh, Ciarán. Education: St. Patrick's Teacher Training College, teaching credential; received degrees from National University of Ireland and Trinity College, Dublin.

ADDRESSES: Home—47 Pairc Arnold, Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Poet, playwright, and writer. Worked as a teacher, broadcaster, journalist, lecturer and in public relations, in England and Ireland.

MEMBER: Aosdana (Irish government-sponsored society of artists, writers, and composers).

AWARDS, HONORS: Grant from Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland, 1973; Oireachtas drama prize and Douglas Hyde Memorial Award, both for Cóta Bán Chríost, or, The Order of Melchizedek.

WRITINGS:

POETRY

(Editor and author of introduction) Michael Hogan, Drunken Thady and the Bishop's Lady: A Legend of Thomond Bridge, by Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomond, [Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland] 1977.

Aisling dhá abhainn, Náisiúnta Tta (Dublin, Ireland), 1977.

Summer in Kilkee, Treaty Press (Limerick, Ireland), 1984, enlarged edition, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2004.

Hunger Strike and Other Poems, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teoranta (Dublin, Ireland), 1984.

Centenary: A Poem, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teoranta (Dublin, Ireland), 1985.

A Poet in Rome, Four Courts Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1992.

(Editor) Michael Hogan, The Bard of Thomond: Selected Poems, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1994.

The Easter Rising: A Poem Sequence, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2004.

Also author of Banana; Ó Fhás go hAois; Eiri Amach na Casca; and At Dún Laoghaire Lighthouse. Work published in Irish appears under the Irish form of his name, Críostóir Ó Floinn.

PLAYS

In Dublin's Fair City, produced in Dublin, Ireland, at Abbey Theatre, 1959.

Land of the Living (originally titled "Romance of an Idiot"), produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at Lyric Theatre, 1962.

Cóta Bán Chríost, or, The Order of Melchizedek, produced in Dublin, Ireland, at Gate Theatre, 1967.

Is Fada Anocht, 1968.

Aggiornamento, 1969.

Is é a dúirt Polonius (three-act), Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland) (Dublin, Ireland), 1973.

Cluichí cleamhnais, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teoranta (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1978.

Cad d'imigh ar Fheidhlimidh? (three-act), Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1978.

Lámh dheas, lámh chlé Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1978.

Solas an tSaoil: Mair, a chapaill!, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1980.

Homo Sapiens (two-act), An Gúm (Dublin, Ireland), 1985.

A Man Called Pearse: A Play in Three Acts, Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teoranta (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1987.

Three Plays, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2000.

Also author of An Spailpín Fánach; Mise Raifteiri an File; Saint Hubert's Day; Taibhsí na Faiche Moíre; Ficheall na Feile; Mair a Chapaill; and Éalú As Cill Mhaighneann. Also author of the radio plays One-Night Stand; The Price of a Father; Just Another Fairy Fort; Damascus, County Kildare; Na Cimí; Escape; Cloch ar Charn; and Damascus iCill Dara. Author of the television plays The Lambs; Oileán Tearmainn; and Legion of the Rearguard. Work published in Irish appears under the Irish form of his name, Críostóir Ó Floinn.

TRANSLATOR

When Dasher Died: Six Poems on the Death of a Horse, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1994.

(And editor) The Maigue Poets/Filí ne Máighe, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1995.

(And editor) Irish Comic Poems, Cloí Iar-Chonnachta (Galway, Ireland), 1995.

Anthony Raftery, Blind Raftery: Selected Poems, Cloí Iar-Chonnachta (Galway, Ireland), 1998.

Also translator of selections from Dante's Divine Comedy, 1988. Contributor of translated poetry to anthologies. Work published in Irish appears under the Irish form of his name, Críostóir Ó Floinn.

OTHER

Oscar Binn, bleachtaire, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1955.

Fé bhrat na Fraince, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1955.

Lá Dá Bhfaca Thú (novel), Cló Morainn (Dublin, Ireland), 1955.

Cuas an óir, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1956.

Ticiti, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1958.

Ticiti i dTír Ghúba, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1963.

Ticiti agus an fáinne draíochta, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland) (Dublin, Ireland), 1967.

An ceannaí mór ó Chaireo, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1968.

Eachtraí Learaí Láidir, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1968.

Learairí Lios an Phúca (novel), Foilseacháin Náisiúnta Teoranta (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1968.

Oineachlann (short stories), An Gúm (Dublin, Ireland), 1968.

Mac an Áidh, Oifig an tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1969.

Sanctuary Island (short stories), Gill & Macmillan (Dublin, Ireland), 1971.

Scéalta sé/[maeve Costello a mhaisigh an leabhar seo], Oifig tSoláthair (Dublin, Ireland), 1975.

An poc ar buile (essays), Foilseacháin Ábhair Spiorad-álta (Dublin, Ireland), 1993.

Obelisk Year, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1993.

The Poets of Merry Croom (biography), Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 1994.

Seacláidí Van Gogh, Coisceím (Dublin, Ireland), 1996.

There Is an Isle: A Limerick Boyhood (autobiography), Irish-American Book Co. (Boulder, CO), 1998.

Consplawkus: A Writer's Life (autobiography), Mercier Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1999.

Van Gogh Chocolates: Poems and Translations, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2000.

A Writer's Life (autobiography), Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2001.

The Heart Has Its Reasons (short stories), Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2004.

Beautiful Limerick: The Legends and Traditions, Songs and Poems, Trials and Tribulations of an Ancient City, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2004.

Lóchrann an Dóchais, Beatha Nano de Nógla (biography), Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta (Dublin, Ireland), 2005.

Also author of Cead Cainte (essays); author of books for junior readers and books in Gaelic for children. Author of weekly column for Irish Press, 1969–78. Contributor to the Irish quarterly An Timire. Work published in Irish appears under the Irish form of his name, Críostóir Ó Floinn.

SIDELIGHTS: Criostoir O'Flynn told CA: "I am a bilingual writer. My home language was English, and I wrote plays, poems, and stories in English at the age of ten. Having begun to learn Irish in infant school and continuing to study it at university level, soon after my first efforts in English were published, I began to write in Irish also, motivated by feelings of patriotic duty and spiritual affiliation with the Irish writers of former ages. I have published over sixty books and plays, and I am also known as a broadcaster, journalist, and reviewer.

"My themes are social and political, and many of my works consider the dilemma of the individual trying to preserve his moral integrity in situations where refusal to conform will result in trouble. My writing has often proved controversial, and on two occasions I was dismissed by religious authorities from teaching posts after plays which had been rejected on moral grounds by the directors of the Abbey Theatre were produced elsewhere. One of these plays was Cóta Bán Chríost, or, The Order of Melchizedek, and the other was Land of the Living In 1969, when the government's Irish language publishing section rejected Ó Fhás go hAois, a collection of forty poems, because I refused to omit two poems, one on a political, the other on a social theme, the author, Conor Cruise O'Brien, challenged the minister for education with censorship. When the minister in reply implied that the poems were obscene, I declared in my weekly column that I would desist from writing any literature in Irish until that slander was withdrawn. The minister did that, after an interval of two years.

"In spite of the harm and frustration I have endured from clerical and lay censors, my work is deeply influenced by my Catholic faith and by the cultural traditions of the Irish nation."

A Publishers Weekly contributor, writing about There Is an Isle: A Limerick Boyhood, observed that the book offers a "conservative, positive and nationalistic view of the Limerick City of bygone days." O'Flynn's father was employed throughout O'Flynn's childhood in the 1930s, and while the family was still poor, this detail provides a contrast between O'Flynn and other Irish authors who write of deserted or un-ambitious fathers during the same time period. Calling There Is an Isle "somewhat defensive," a reviewer at the Ireland at HomeCafe Web site praised the memoir as "a balanced view of life" in Limerick at that time, and praised O'Flynn for writing with realism and humor.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

O'Flynn, Criostoir, There Is an Isle: A Limerick Boyhood, Irish-American Book Co. (Boulder, CO), 1998.

O'Flynn, Criostoir, Consplawkus: A Writer's Life, Mer-cier Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1999.

O'Flynn, Criostoir, A Writer's Life, Obelisk Books (Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland), 2001.

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 1998, review of There Is an Isle: A Limerick Boyhood, p. 1021.

Library Journal, September 1, 1998, Denise J. Stankovics, review of There Is an Isle, p. 182.

Publishers Weekly, August 17, 1998, review of There Is an Isle, p. 62.

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O'Flynn, Criostoir 1927–

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