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Desmond Egan Papers 1

Identifier: GTM-851203

Collection-level Scope and Contents note

The collection includes manuscripts of Egan's published collections, including, "Midland," "Leaves," "Siege!," "Woodcutter," "Athlone?" "Seeing Double," and "Snapdragon." Manuscripts for unpublished early poems from 1966-1977 are included, together with special publications of Egan's poems for posters and calendars.


  • 1966 - 1985

Conditions Governing Access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

Desmond Egan was born at on July 15, 1936, in Athlone, Ireland. He was educated at the Batteries by the Marist Brothers of Athlone; and afterwards at St. Finian's in Mullingar, where he excelled in English. Egan next attended Maynooth in County Kildare, and completed a Master's Degree in English at University College, Dublin, where he also earned an H.D.E. education diploma. He taught English at Newbridge College, County Kildare.

Egan's first book of poety, "Midland," appeared in 1972, revealing his interest in including drawings with his poetry -- a feature of all his published poetry. Druing the same year he co-edited "Choice", a collection of Irish poetry; "Poiemata," a book of verse and prose for children; and "Focus," a collection of critiques for teenagers. In 1972, Egan's poetry was featured in a concert performance of the Stations of the Cross on Irish television (RTE). Egan undertook editorial and publishing ventures including the Goldsmith Press.

In 1974, Egan's next collection of poetry, "Leaves," was published. More of his work appeared in magazines and newspapers and he expanded his editorial activities, contributing introductions to a book on Marcel Marceau by Brian Bourke, and a centenary edition of "The Deserted Village" by Oliver Goldsmith. Egan also became an editor for the poetry and art review "Era."

In ensuing years several more of Egan's collections were published: "Siege!" (1976); "Woodcutter" (1978); "Athlone?" (1981); and "Seeing Double" and "Snapdragon" (1983) -- the last dedicated to his wife Vivienne Abbott, an authority on French cooking, whom Egan married in 1981. The "Collected Poems of Desmond Egan" was also published in 1983.

Beginning in 1982, Egan made numerous trips to the United States to read his own works as well as to lecture on Ezra Pound. Egan founded the journal "Paideuma" in 1972 for Pound scholarship, and edited books on Pound including "A Companion to the Cantos of Ezra Pound" (Volume I: 1980 and Volume II: 1984).

Further biographical information available from Gale Virtual Reference Library. Document URL


2.83 Linear Feet (3 Hollinger boxes (2 Document Cases, 1 drop front box approximately 20x24"))

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Desmond Egan, 1985.

Desmond Egan Papers 1
James Helminski, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057