John F. Deane

John F. Deane

John F. Deane

TITLE/S: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. Fellow in Catholic Studies (Fall 2016)

SPECIALTY AREA: Poetry; religious poetry; fiction


John is a renowned Irish poet and fiction-writer who founded Poetry Ireland and the Poetry Ireland Review in 1979. His works include “The Instruments of Art” (Carcanet 2005); “In Dogged Loyalty” (Columba 2006), a series of essays on religious poetry; “From the Marrow-Bone” (Columba 2008); and a collection of short stories, “The Heather Fields and Other Stories” (Blackstaff Press 2007). David Morley lauded his poetry collection, “A Little Book of Hours” (Carcanet 2008), as “beautiful, solemn, gravid poems, best read aloud for, like John Tavener, Deane has to be heard to be believed,” in Poetry Review. In October 2010, Deane published a new novel, Where No Storms Come (Blackstaff Press 2010), and in December of the same year he published The Works of Love (Columba 2010), a book of essays that studies poetry, ecology, and Christianity.  His more recent works include poetry collections “Eye of the Hare” (Carcanet June 2011) and “Snow Falling on Chestnut Hill” (Carcanet October 2012). He has also published a memoir, Give Dust a Tongue: A Faith and Poetry Memoir (Carcanet March 2015). His most recent work is another collection of poetry, “Semibreve” (Carcanet 2015), published in May 2015.

John F. Deane is a member of Aosdána, the body established by the Arts Council to honor artists “whose work had made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.” In 2007, the French Government honored him by making him “Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres.” In 2008, he was visiting scholar in the Burns Library of Boston College. In April, 2012, John F. Deane was Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Suffolk University, Boston. He has recently edited 8 issues of Poetry Ireland Review, and is a contributing editor to Poem.

John has earned several awards for his work, including the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry and the Marten Toonder Award for Literature and poetry from Italy and Romania. In October 2011, he became the first Irish writer to win the Golden Key of Smederevo award, a Serbian prize given annually for a body of poetry. In the same month he was also awarded the “Laudomia Bonnani” International Award from the Italian town I’Aquila.


  • BA English and French, University College Dublin
  • MA in English and American literature (Honors), University College Dublin
  • Higher Diploma in Education (Honors), University College Dublin

Courses Taught

ENGL/THEO 383-081: A Faith in Poetry
W 2:45 - 5:15 pm (Mundelein Center, Room 203)

For two millennia the person of Christ has been at the center of thought and of art in the West. There is a rich and varied corpus of poetry that has engaged with the person of Christ, and has done so while mastering the art and craft of poetry as a vehicle to study faith. Poetry adds several dimensions to the personal awareness of Christ, mostly an imaginative and oblique approach that can refresh Christian faith at times of doubt and hesitation. The course, “A Faith in Poetry,” ranged through this Christian heritage, from the great Anglo-Saxon poem, The Dream of the Rood, through the “metaphysical” poets, John Donne, George Herbert, and the so-called “Odds and Sods Men,” farmer poets like John Clare and Patrick Kavanagh. Studies of American poets such as Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, and the contemporary Christian Wiman, were set beside Irish and British poets, including Seamus Heaney, R.S. Thomas, David Gascoyne, and the great Gerard Manley Hopkins. The poetry will be seen to be absorbed in the approach to Christ as Redeemer, Friend, Antagonist, and the development of faith through poetry after Darwin and Einstein, into contemporary times. A complementary series of explorations into how poetry is written will be offered, with the aim of reaching insights from within a poem, as well as readings of poetry from an objective and critical stance.