Michael Hartnett’s death, at the age of 58, robbed poetry readers of one of Ireland’s beloved authors. His Collected Poems represents a body of work which is etched indelibly in contemporary literature.
Seamus Heaney noted his ‘focus and intensity . . . He followed his own impulse and never had his eye on any audience. Lovable yet separate, operating within his own field of force. I’ll never forget reading his first short hypnotic poems in the early sixties; they had a kind of Orphic throb, as if a new Lorca had emerged from Newcastle West. In fact, Michael shared Lorca’s ability to combine avant-garde daring with native tradition; he took the boldest of technical and emotional risks, living in and through and for his poetry to the end.’