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Derek Mahon papers

Collection MS-1990-013: Derek Mahon papers


  • Creation: 1980 - 1987

Scope and Contents

This collection contains annotated copies and drafts of written works, collected works published by and about Mahon, personal and professional correspondence, photographs, and translations spanning 1980-1987.


Language of Materials

English with some French.

Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical note

Derek Mahon was born November 23, 1941, in Belfast, Ireland, to a Protestant family. He attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institute before attending Trinity College (B.A., French, 1965) and the Sorbonne (1966). While at Trinity, he served as an editor for the Icarus literary journal and formed friendships with Irish authors such as Michael Longley, Eavan Bolan, and Brendan Kennelly.

Mahon became a member of the 1960s Northern Irish poets' group known as the "Northern Poets" or "Belfast Group” which included Philp Hosbaum and Seamus Heaney. His first volume of poetry, Twelve Poems, was published in 1965. Over the course of his career, he published over 20 volumes of poetry and nearly a dozen translations.

Mahon taught grade school in Belfast and Dublin before moving to London to work as a freelance journalist and screenwriter. He was a regular reviewer for The Irish Times and served as a writing fellow at both Trinity College and New York University. His many honors include membership in the Irish artists’ association, Aosdan; the Irish American Foundation Award; a Lannan Foundation Award; a Guggenheim Fellowship; the American Ireland Fund Literary Award; the Arts Council Bursary; the Eric Gregory Award; and the David Cohen Prize for Literature.


Hogan, Robert, and Bowen, Zack R. Dictionary of Irish Literature. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996.


1 Linear Feet (2 containers )


These papers contain correspondence, photographs, poems, screenplays, and articles by Irish author Derek Mahon, spanning 1980-1987. Also includes clippings about Mahon, translations of his poems into French, and collected writings by other authors.


Organized in four series: I. Clippings by and about Mahon, II. Collected materials, III. Correspondence, and IV. Writings.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from George Robert Minkoff, Inc. in 1990.

Derek Mahon Papers
George R. Fuir
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States