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Maurice Devitt


MAURICE DEVITT completed the MA in Poetry Studies at Mater Dei, won the Trocaire/Poetry Ireland Competition and was placed or shortlisted in many other competitions including The Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Listowel Collection Competition and Cúirt New Writing Award. Selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions in 2016, he was a featured poet at the Poets in Transylvania Festival in 2015 and a guest speaker at the John Berryman Centenary Conference in both Dublin and Minneapolis. His poems have been nominated for Pushcart, Forward and Best of the Net prizes. He is curator of the Irish Centre for Poetry Studies site.

Genre: Poetry
Number of publications: 2

Maurice Devitt celebrates what it is to be human in these poems of wit and wisdom. With his distinctive narrative style and eye for vivid detail, he moves deftly between playfulness and seriousness, creating poems that offer both solace and delight.

— Jane Clarke

Sample Work

Sample Poems From Growing Up in Colour

The Lion Tamer Dreams of Office Work

He takes the train from work,
a chair
tucked under his arm
and sometimes
he sits,
looks around
a carriage
filled with commuters,
pictures himself
in pinstripe and Prada,
a champagne-belly,
decisive cuff-links,
a briefcase full of numbers
and a customised watch
showing customary time.
Silent eyes surround him,
muscles twitch
and in the shaky stillness
his fingers
tighten on the whip.


Hanging the Mirror

I was thinking
that maybe this wasn’t the way:
then you arrived, perfectly-equipped —
inflated hammer and rubber nails —
City and Guilds poking
from the side-pocket of your overalls.
Like a safe-cracker
you tapped the wall for girth
and hidden passages, walked around
the mirror as though skirting a pond,
took off your shoes and stepped in,
cautiously at first, nervous of carp
and knotted reeds. Waded
up to your waist. ‘Come in, it’s lovely.’
Never a swimmer, I demurred,
offered to hold your coat.
You walked until you were out
of your depth and all I could see
was the hammer in an outstretched hand.
Left it a day or so but you never came back.
Eventually, when I hung the mirror
I turned it sideways so you would be
closer to the bank.

Sample Poems from Some of These Stories are True

Keeping a Secret

Walking home from school one day
you told me a story,
eyes dark with regret,
as you begged me not to tell.
It hovered for years
at the forefront of my mind,
even pushing itself to the brink
of revelation, when a casual
conversation with friends
appeared to echo your experience.
Though we drifted apart,
I kept my promise.
Now, when I hear from others
what happened to them,
I wonder how you are
and whether I did the right thing


Coming Home


One day the key doesn’t turn in the lock
and he wonders if he has done something wrong,
if there is something different
about his approach: the way he inserted
the key, the way he turned it
with that customary wiggle, assuming
it would open. He tries again,
confidence draining with each attempt,
and all the little assumptions
built into his process seem shaky.
The nerves in his fingers, so used to success,
now expect failure. Could it be the wrong key?
He pats his pockets — finds nothing
but a comb and a train ticket.
Stands in silence on the doorstep,
as though waiting for someone to open the door.
There should be no one home, yet he listens
for the slightest tremble of sound
and, when he calls to a neighbour to borrow a spare,
a stranger answers — explains
how nobody has lived there for years.

Reading at Poets in Transylania

Video Talk About Mater Dei Poetry Course

Reading 'Half-Life' for Poetry Happening


Some of These Stories are True
Some of these stories are true Poetry collection Mauruce Devitt

ISBN: 978-1-907682-96-4 | Pages: 72| Published: 2023

Some of These Stories are True seek out the mystery in everyday urban life in a conversational tone, often with dark humour, exploring hints of the extraordinary in the quotidian, using a transverse section of personal experience to explicate universal themes of love, grief, anxiety, the joy of childhood, the vicissitudes of growing up and, ultimately, growing old.

Growing Up in Colour
Growing Up in Colour Poetry Book by Maurice Devitt published by Doire Press

ISBN: 978-1-907682-63-6 | Pages: 80 | Published: 2018

Growing up in Colour articulates the silence and strangeness of the familiar and inhabits the shadowy terrain of growing up in a fast-changing Ireland, of what happened and what might have happened, using natural language and surprising imagery to re-cast the Irish urban experience.