Dennis O’Driscoll (1954–2012) was such a presence in the Irish literary world and so attuned to his moment in the life of the nation that it is hard to come to terms with his absence. O’Driscoll was part of a literary scene dominated by the larger-than-life Seamus Heaney, and it is typical of Dennis’s selflessness and dedication to poetry that he put so much of his own time into Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney, the 2009 book that comes closer to being an autobiography of the Nobel-Prize winner than anything we will get. Though it was clear from his increasingly pale complexion and his gapingly large shirt collars that O’Driscoll was seriously ill, it was not in him to...


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