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Tuesday 20 November 2018

Much-loved contemporary Irish poet John Montague has died at 87

John Montague: handed works to National Library
John Montague: handed works to National Library
Irish poet John Cronin died on December 10 at 87.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

One of Ireland's much-loved contemporary poets has died at 87.

John Montague passed away in Nice in the south of France on Saturday morning.

Just this November, the poet was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards. He was made Ireland's first Professor of Poetry in 1998.

He taught at University of California, Berkeley, UCD, University College Cork and the Sorbonne and served as distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the New York State Writers Institute.

Irish poet John Cronin died on December 10 at 87.
Irish poet John Cronin died on December 10 at 87.

His poetry included Forms of Exile (1958); Poisoned Lands(1961); A Chosen Light (1967); Tides (1970) and The Rough Field (1972). His novella, The Lost Notebook, won the first Hughes Award in 1987.

He also published three collections of stories: Death of a Chieftain (1964), An Occasion of Sin (1992) and A Love Present (1997).

He won the Marten Toonder Award in 1977, a Guggenheim fellowship in 1980, and the Ireland Funds Literary Award in 1995.

The Arts Council has expressed its regret at his passing.

Sheila Pratschke, chair of the Arts Council said: "A true giant of Irish letters, John Montague possessed a voice and vision which was wholly unique and deeply needed, at once intensely relevant and local, while also embracing and celebrating the cosmopolitan.

"His loss will be felt acutely but his work will continue to inspire both readers and writers for generations to come."

Montague was born in Brooklyn in 1929. He grew up in Tyrone and, in later years, divided his time between Ireland, the US and France.

He was married three times and has two daughters, Oonagh and Sibyl.

His funeral will take place at Garvaghy, County Tyrone.

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