Brian Coffey

Brian Coffey was born in Dublin in 1905. Having qualified in both the arts and the sciences in University College, Dublin, he went to Paris where he studied first under Jean Berrin and later under Maritain. In the late forties and early fifties, he taught philosophy at St. Louis University, Missouri; returning to Europe in 1954, he worked as a teacher of mathematics in England until his retirement.

Brian Coffey's first book was Poems, a joint publication with Denis Devlin in 1930, which caused Samuel Beckett to describe them as "without question the most interesting of the youngest generation of Irish poets". After Third Person (1938), however, there ensued a long period of silence, broken eventually by the Missouri Sequence. New Writers' Press published his Selected Poems in 1971, and he became an enthusiastic supporter of the Press. Advent appeared in 1975, and his superb Death of Hektor in 1979, with illustrations by Stanley Hayter. Chanterelles, Short Poems, 1971-83 was issued by The Melmoth Press in Cork in 1985. Dedalus Press, Dublin, published his collected Poems and Versions, 1929-1990.


Missouri Sequence (1962)