Waterloo Press

John McKeown

Born in Liverpool in 1959, John McKeown graduated from John Moore’s University in 1987 with an Honours Degree in English and History. He lived in Prague for several years as a teacher and freelance journalist before moving to Ireland in 2000, where he was a columnist for the Irish Examiner, and arts feature writer for the Irish Times. He was theatre critic for the Irish Daily Mail from 2006 to 2008 and is currently reviewing theatre for the Irish Independent and raising his daughter Julia. He lives and writes in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.

His poems have appeared in Orbis, The Eildon Tree, Dreamcatcher, Aerings, Earth Love, Envoi, Borderlines, The London Magazine, and Irish-based journals Cyphers, The Shop, and Southword. He was winner of the Start Chapbook Prize (Ireland) in 2004 for his cycle of poems Looking Toward Inis Oírr. 

Freelance Writing Continuous Release



Sea of Leaves (Available Winter/Spring 2009, launch to be announced)

ISBN 978-1-906742-08-9  

At one with the ancient forces of nature, but an awkward, reluctant participant in 21st Century consumerism, the Dublin-based bard’s quill is still at it’s most fluid when writing of the complexities of the female race. Once again he has transcended his own quiet genius in a way deserving of higher honour
— James Scanlon, The Prague Post


Samhain (2004)

ISBN 1-902731-24-7

John McKeown is a precise and imaginative poet, refreshingly free of pretension or ego. A corrosive religiosity, frequently awash with sea images, is brilliantly distilled in 'Cormorant'. His poems, direct, unsparingly candid and sparingly lyrical, pull no punches but soothe the bruises. From the bitterness of 'Passing in the Office Corridor' to the sweetness of 'That Kiss', from the line 'I grow dark with life' ('Brandy and Soda') to 'the sky is all gently rustling light' ('Roadside Tress'); McKeown swings effortlessly between the poetic polarities of disillusionment and enchantment. This selection deserves regular revisiting
Alan Morrison

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