Chalk Dust – New Poetry Collection from Noel Monahan

This new collection, by award winning poet, Noel Monahan, searches for identity and belonging, in the shifting shadows of modern Ireland. The section on sonnets seeks a spiritual uplift out of the darkness and poems written in Irish, with English translations further the quest for meaning. “Chalk Dust”, the stunning title poem, portrays an Irish Catholic boarding school, where sons of strong farmers and rural shopkeepers are placed in the ivory hands of priests, to be educated. This long dramatic prose poem is episodic and follows the calendar of a school year, where trapped male energy erupts, under the strains of collective living and time alone allows the Chalk Dust to settle.


Noel Monahan was born in Granard, Co. Longford. He has won numerous awards for his poetry and writing. His awards include: The SeaCat National Poetry Award, organised by Poetry Ireland, The RTE P.J. O’Connor Award for drama, The ASTI Achievements Award, The Hiberno-English Poetry Award and The Irish Writers’ Union Poetry Award. He has read his work on Sunday Miscellany, RTE 1, on a number of occasions.

His poetry was prescribed text for Leaving Certificate English, 2011 & 2012. “Chalk Dust” , is Noel Monahan’s eighth collection of poetry. “ Opposite Walls”, was published in 1991, “Snowfire”, in 1995, “ Curse of The Birds” in 2000, “ The Funeral Game” in 2004, “ Curve Of The Moon” in 2010, “ Where The Wind Sleeps” 2014, published by Salmon. “Celui Qui Porte Un Veau” , a selection of French translations of Noel Monahan’s work was published by Alidades in 2014. A number of his poems have been translated into: Italian, Russian, French and Romanian. His most recent plays include “ The Children of Lir”, performed by Livin Dred Theatre and “ Lovely Husbands”, a play for young people, based on the work of Henry James. For twenty six years he has worked with Heather Brett as co editor of Windows Publications.

Recently, he has had work included in the following anthologies: Windharp, edited by Niall McMonagle and published by Penguin, Tra Una Vita E L’Altra, published by Guanda, Italy, Lost Between, New Island Press, Everything To Play For, published by Poetry Ireland, Even The Daybreak, published by Salmon, Reading The Future, New Writing From Ireland, Arlen House. Noel Monahan holds an M.A. in Creative Writing.