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Louis Mulcahy

Poet Louis Mulcahy


LOUIS MULCAHY, ceramic sculptor and potter, has three collections of poetry, one in Irish and two in English (An Sagart Publications, 2012, 2014, 2015). He has been shortlisted for many competitions, including the Listowel Collection Prize and the Listowel Individual Poem Prize and in 2016 he won the Munster Literature mentorship competition. Louis founded the bilingual poetry festival An Féile Bheag Filíochta in 2007 and was its Artistic Director until he retired in 2014. In 2004 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Ireland in recognition of his artistry and contribution to his community.

Genre: Poetry
Number of publications: 1

In evoking his fascinating story, his words have the elegance of his pots, and his poems the uncanny sheen of their glazes.

— James Harper

Sample Work

Sample Poems from THE POTTER'S BOOK

The Hands

These crooked,
scarred, sandpaper hands

with fingers scorched by red-hot pots,
nails worn down by spinning clay

and palms repeatedly cut deep
to white of bone by splintered shards.

The fissured flesh in arctic slip,
bruised knuckles battered out of sync.

Abraded, seared, abrasive hands,
arthritic hands abandoned to rough consequence

through years of repetition
still meet the mind’s demands.

Levigating Gold Dust

The granite grains
that fall away
wash through streams
to rivers that are full
of mica, quartz and feldspar
that levigate to pits of siliceous sand
where they wait to be found
and refined
by rigorous hands.

Like my meditations
that fall away
and wash through streams
to rivers that are full
of half-baked dreams
that levigate to pits of dormant thought
where they wait to be found
and refined
by rigorous minds

Reading at The White House, Limerick

Reading at Saint John's Church Dingle


The Potter’s Book
The Potter's Book poetry book by Louis Mulcahy publisher Doire Press

ISBN: 978-1-907682-64-3 | Pages: 80 | Published: 2018

This fourth collection from Louis Mulcahy reflects on fifty years working in clay. It ranges from the classic pots of the Chinese Sung Dynasty through those of the Japanese. Tea Ceremony and traditional Danish Pottemager workshops to the excitement and vicissitudes of learning the Potter’s craft. It tells of the creation and evolution of an Irish studio-workshop of high renown. It looks at human foibles and checks Biblical and Quaranic references to the potter. Essentially it is a song of gratitude for a life of sensory wealth.