Paula Meehan was born in the north inner city of Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and in the MFA programme at Eastern Washington University. Besides seven award-winning poetry collections she has also written plays for adults and children. She has conducted residencies in universities, in prisons, in the wider community, and her poems and plays have been translated into many languages, including Irish. She has collaborated frequently with musicians, visual artists and dancers, most recently with artist Dragana Jurišić in a book of photographs and poems, Museum, responding to No 14 Henrietta Street, the Dublin Tenement Museum.
From 2013 to 2016 she was Ireland Professor of Poetry and her lectures from the Chair on Community, Family, and Selfhood, Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, is published by UCD Press.
As If By Magic: Selected Poems, published 1st of October, 2020, by Dedalus Press, and spring of 2021 by Wake Forest University Press presents a generous offering of her poetry made in the last thirty years.
Other poetry collections in print include Dharmakaya and Painting Rain, from Carcanet Press, Manchester and from Wake Forest University Press, North Carolina. Geomantic, a long poem in 81 parts, published in 2016 by Dedalus Press, received a Cholmondely Award for Poetry. Music for Dogs: Works for Radio, is also available from Dedalus Press.
Other awards include the Butler Award of the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Laurence O’Shaughnessy Award, the Denis Devlin Award, the Marten Toonder Award.
A collection of critical essays on her poetry and plays edited by Jody Allen Randolph, was published by the U.S. journal An Sionnach. It can be accessed here at Project Muse: