Poetry Ireland Board

Ciarán Benson (Chairperson)

Ciarán Benson is Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University College Dublin. His research interests include the cultural psychology of self, philosophical psychology, and the psychology and philosophy of ‘Art’. His publications include The cultural psychology of self: Place, morality and art in human worlds. London/New York: Routledge, 2001, and The absorbed self: Pragmatism, psychology and aesthetic experience. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993. He has long been practically active in the arts in Ireland as a policymaker, occasional curator and critic. Amongst other things, he was the first chairman of the Irish Film Institute, of the City Arts Centre and, from 1993-1998, he was Chair of The Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. He is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA). Appointed: 25/06/2013

Nick Laird

Nick Laird was born in County Tyrone in 1975. The author of numerous novels and poetry collections, his awards include the Betty Trask Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and a Guggenheim fellowship. His last collection, Feel Free, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot award and the Derek Walcott Prize. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he’s on faculty at New York University, and holds the Seamus Heaney Chair of Poetry at Queens’ University, Belfast. A new collection, Up Late, is forthcoming in 2023. Appointed: 11/01/2023

Joe Moreau

Joe Moreau is Managing Partner of Byrne Moreau Connell, Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors.  He is a Partner in Byrne Moreau Connell since 1981 and has been Managing Partner of the practice since 1999. Through Byrne Moreau Connell, Joe does a significant amount of audit and consultancy work in the arts, broadcasting and entertainment areas. Joe was a founding shareholder and director of Today FM. He was a director of Temple Bar Properties and subsequently Temple Bar Cultural Trust for many years. Joe is non-executive director of a number of companies including MCO Projects Limited. Appointed: 17/12/2013

Tristan Rosenstock

Tristan Rosenstock works in television and radio and presents TG4’s IFTA-winning arts series Imeall. He has presented numerous radio documentaries on Newstalk, most recently a programme examining Brendan Behan’s Irish-language works. He tours worldwide with traditional group Téada and works in theatre. Later this year he will direct Má Thagann Tú/ If You Come,  a stage tapestry which weaves declarations of love in Irish verse and song, and also Where Ben Bulben sets the scene, which combines spoken word and music and will be staged in Sligo as part of Yeats 150. Tristan studied Early & Modern Irish in Trinity College, Dublin and Film & Television Studies in DCU. Appointed: 12/02/2015

Ronan Reid

Ronan Reid has had a life-long interest in poetry and literature. He has also been a volunteer director in a range of non-profit organisations, with a particular focus on improving the opportunities for children to participate and express themselves in the community and through sport. These have included acting as non-executive director of Tennis Ireland, roles in the Public Parks Tennis Programme, Chair of Local Sports partnership in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Head of Football in Park Celtic Football Club. 

Professionally he is the Chief Executive Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland, a position he has held since Dolmen Stockbrokers was acquired by Cantor Fitzgerald in November 2012. Ronan founded Dolmen in 1995. In that capacity, Ronan enabled and raised funds for a considerable number of start-up businesses including a range of third level spin out companies. Appointed: 23/04/2019

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh

Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh is an Irish-language poet. Her books include Péacadh, (Coiscéim 2008), Tost agus Allagar (Coiscéim, 2016) and a bilingual collection The Coast Road (Gallery Press, 2016). Cois Life published her translations from the French of Andrée Chedid as part of the ‘File ar Fhile’ series in 2019. She is a recipient of the Michael Hartnett Award and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. A graduate of NUI Galway, where she earned a PhD in Irish Studies. Now based in Cork city, she lectures in Modern Irish at UCC. Appointed: 03/06/2020

Felicia Olusanya

Felispeaks is a Nigerian-Irish poet, performer and playwright from Co. Longford. As well as being a member of Dublin City Council's Culture Company Advisory Panel, Felispeaks is a member of the poetry collective; "We Are Griot". Felispeaks has been nominated ‘Best Performer’ by Dublin Fringe Festival Sept 2018 judges for her performance in ‘BOYCHILD’, a co-written play by Dagogo Hart and herself. Felispeaks has also had the opportunity to perform her poetry at Concern Worldwide's 50th Anniversary in Dublin Castle in September 2018 which included speakers such as UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina J. Mohammed, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, President Bill Clinton and Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. Felicia has also been honoured with an award by the (APNI) African Professional Network of Ireland in December 2017 for her unique contribution to the art scene in Dublin City. Appointed 16/06/2020

Paula Meehan

Paula Meehan was born in 1955 in Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and in the MFA programme at Eastern Washington University. Besides seven award-winning poetry collections, she has also written plays for both adults and children. She has conducted residencies in universities, in prisons, and in the wider community. Her poems and plays have been translated into many languages, including Irish. She has collaborated extensively with musicians, visual artists and dancers.

Geomantic, published in 2016 by Dedalus Press, received a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry. Other awards include the Butler Award of the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Laurence O’Shaughnessy Award, the Denis Devlin Award, and the Marten Toonder Award.

From 2013 to 2016, she was Ireland Professor of Poetry and her lectures from the Chair on Community, Family, and Selfhood, are available in one volume, Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, published by UCD Press. As If By Magic: Selected Poems, was published 1st of October, 2020, by Dedalus Press. She is a member of Aosdána. Appointed 24 May 2021

John O'Donnell

John O’Donnell’s work has been published and broadcast widely in Ireland and abroad. Awards include the Irish National Poetry Prize, the Ireland Funds Prize, and Hennessy Awards for Poetry and Fiction. His collection of short stories ‘Almost the Same Blue‘ (Doire Press) was nominated in the Irish Times as one of the Best Fiction Debuts, and one of the Books of The Year in the Sunday Independent. ‘Americans Anonymous’ (Hi Tone Books), a pictorial and poetic road trip across America with photographs by Barry Delaney, is his latest poetry collection. Appointed January 2023 

Maria McManus

Maria is a poet.  Her most recent collection is Available Light, (Arlen House).  Librettos include Wretches, Ellipses and Tierra Sallada.  Poetry, dance & film collaborations are BIND, EPILOGUE, DUST and TURF.  Essays are published in Impermanence (Centre Culturel Irlandais/ No Alibis), The New Frontier (New Island) and The Irish Times.  She founded Quotidian – Word on the Street (quotidian.ie); it includes the Poetry Jukebox project. She is a member of Irish PEN. Appointed: 11/01/2023

Madeline Boughton

Prior to her current role as a lecturer and researcher in strategic communications and public relations at the School of Communications in DCU, Madeline worked in senior management with a range of organisations including Culture Ireland, the British Council, Project Arts Centre, the Abbey Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival, Draíocht and Music Generation. As an independent arts and communications consultant, her clients include Dance Ireland, the Arts Council of Ireland, the Irish Writers Centre, the Irish Architecture Foundation, Limerick City and County Council, the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland and the Hugh Lane Gallery. Between 2015 and 2017, Madeline was Director of Communications for Ireland 2016, the State programme to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. She stayed on in the role of Director of Communications (2017 to 2019) with the legacy initiative, the Creative Ireland Programme, an all-of-government culture-based initiative to place creativity at the centre of public policy. Madeline is a former Chair and Board Member of Dublin Youth Theatre, Pan Pan Theatre Company and the Liz Roche Company. She also currently serves on the board of Teac Damsa dance theatre company. Appointed: 11/01/2023