Pat Boran is an Irish poet, who has published four books of poetry, a book of short-stories, a short fiction book for children, and four non-fiction books.

I first heard of Pat Boran when myself and my friend went to free poetry reading to celebrate Bloomsday in St.Ann's church, on Dawson Street, Dublin on 15th June, 2001. Pat Boran was one of the poets reading at the event. My friend was particularly struck by a poem entitled "Born to Shave', which Boran recited from his fourth collection of poetry, entitled "Familiar Things", which I immeditely went out and bought the following day.

There is something of the short story to many of his poems, which are driven by a narrative quality, anchored in small moments of realisation or reflection; a dog barking in the night, a milkman calling to the door, catching sight of your reflection in the mirror, "seven unpopular things to say about blood".

Pat Boran was born in Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland, in 1963. He published his first collection of poetry in 1990, entitled "The Unwound Clock", winning the Patrick Kavanagh Award (1989). Boran was Dublin city's official Writer-in-Residence for 1997. He was also the writer-in-residence for Dublin City Libraries, and for Dublin City University, 1998-1999. He is the programme director of the Dublin Writer's Festival.

Boran now lives in Dublin, Ireland, and is a publisher at Dedalus Press, the company through which most of his books have been published. He also currently presents a poetry programme called "The Enchanted Way" on the national radio station, RTE, Radio One every Saturday evening. He regularly reviews new publications for several national literary journals and newspapers, including the Irish Independent. He has edited Poetry Ireland Review, and regularly gives writers workshops to aspiring writers.

The expanded and revised edition of his "The Portable Creative Writing Workshop" will be reissued in Spring 2005, as well as a collection of New and Selected Poems, published by Salt Publishing.

If you are looking for an introduction to the poetry of Pat Boran, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of "The Shape of Water", Dedalus Press, Dublin, 1996. If, for no other reason, than it contains my favourite Boran poem, the life-affirming "Credo", which is a statement of Boran's beliefs and aspirations.

Or you can always sample a poem or two at his website:



  • "The Unwound Clock", 1990
  • "Familiar Things", 1993
  • "The Shape of Water", 1996
  • "As the Hand, the Glove", 2001


  • "All the Way from China", (children's fiction), 1998
  • "History and Promise" (a chapbook), 1990
  • "Strange Bedfellows"(short stories), 1991


  • "Ireland: An Encyclopedia for the Bewildered", 1995
  • "Sex: An Encyclopedia for the Bewildered", 1996
  • "The Portable Creative Writing Workshop", 1999
  • "A Short History of Dublin", 2000