C.L. Dallat’s poem Giant won the Keats-Shelley Memorial Prize in 2017, and his Love on a Rock won Ireland’s leading poetry competition, the Strokesown International Poetry Competition, in 2006. Other prizes include Cardiff International, National/Poetry Society, Bridport, Amnesty International, London Writers, Torbay, Kent & Sussex & Cheltenham.


His poems are published in:

  • Beautiful Lofty Things (due from Salmon Poetry, 2021)
  • The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff Press, 2009, repr. 2015)
  • Morning Star (Lagan Press, 1998)
  • Trio 7 with John Kelly & Sean McWilliams (Blackstaff Press, 1992)
  • literary magazines & journals including TLS, Guardian, Honest Ulsterman, North, Poetry London, Poetry Ireland, Magma, The Wolf, Verse, Fortnight, Oxford Poetry, New Welsh Review, Metre, Smith’s Knoll, Sunk Island, Southfield, Manifest, GLS, Upstart! & Gairfish
  • US journals such as Ploughshares, Cimarron Review, The Best Verse, Big City Lit, Ocean State Review & Pivot
  • anthologies… The Blackbird’s Nest (Blackstaff), Divers: the Poetry Workshop (Aark Arts), Stanley Spencer Poems (Two Rivers), My Mother Wore a Yellow Dress (ACNI), From the Small Back Room (Netherlea), KG Confidential (Circle Time) & numerous poetry-prize prize anthologies
  • Words in Air: Poetry in Place app (John Kennedy) & on Poetry Broadsheets (Goshen College, IN)
  • & alongside Lillian Holt’s The Canyons of Chihuahua, Mexico (1964) in A Sense of Place, Madejski Gallery, Reading Museum

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Buy The Year of Not Dancing (publ. price £12.99) plus free copy of Morning Star (publ. price £4.95) incl. p&p for special web price of £12

the year of not dancing plus free copy of morning star, incl. p&p
books by Cahal Dallat

Quotable Quotes

  • “The unsung genius of Irish poetry” Guardian*
  • “These are brittle, icy elegies … a wonderful collection” Poetry London
  • “Redemptive in its vision … a searchingly intelligent exploration of the enterprise of writing poetry of witness” Thumbscrew
  • “This mixture of tender love poems & elegies is worth looking out” London Magazine
  • “A sparkling collection, elegant, sophisticated and witty” Poetry Ireland Review
  • “The real attraction of these poems is in their sense of dislocation, of restlessness, of passing through” Books Ireland
  • “Exhilirating and suspenseful images of willing and securing safety by the tips of the fingernails … a work that takes it in turn to be open and welcoming and to render reality at a pleasingly oblique angle” Southfield
  • “Absorbing subject and assured technique” Oxford Poetry
  • “More good things from another Irish poet, the up-and-coming Cahal Dallat” Times Literary Supplement
  • “Happy to play the romantic, in the end he inhabits a world which is exploratory and unsettled” Fortnight
  • “Shadow and substance, fantasy and reality, morality and politics merge into a single word …” Irish News
  • Lido Café

    First he taught us to step off
    the back of a moving CIE bus,
    run a few steps to absorb
    momentum before turning back
    like he’d done on the Crumlin Road
    in his theology student days;
    then how to sprinkle vinegar
    down into the paper cone
    — even if it wasn’t a Telegraph —

    [Read the entire poem.]

    from THE YEAR OF NOT DANCING, first published in POETRY LONDON, 2008

  • Morning Star

    Only the half-asleep trucks
    under sodium-lights in the dockyard
    see the MV Matutina
    arrive under mercury floods;
    the ramp hits the deck and they march,
    this cohort of merchant marine,
    verdigris buttons and flashes
    of this or that long-defunct line,
    those with no more than a brown-
    paper-parcel, some with kitbags
    of laundry and presents and mounted
    chronometers given in token
    of unfinished decades of service
    and each takes his taxi — a Humber,
    or Wolseley, Granada or Zephyr
    according to when each one last
    saw shore-leave, for nothing must seem
    out-of-place on this homecoming dawn.

    [Read the entire poem.]

  • City Love Songs

    Polis of nail-scissored green, Taiwan
    electric blue guitars with tremolo arm
    hocked before Rogation Sunday and
    the final catalogue payment, of pledged
    nine-irons and bullworkers, tough brown
    carry-out bags, walk-ins welcome
    at ‘The Head Gardeners’, of white
    lemonade and black taxis and
    pay no more than 30 a score
    on lit subway and tenement walls
    where they’ll sort lost ignition-keys
    — continental models no bother —

    [Read the entire poem.]

    from DIVERS: THE POETRY WORKSHOP ANTHOLOGY (Aark Arts, 2008). 2nd Prize, Kent & Sussex Poetry Competition, 2005

  • Abide With Me

    After the global climacteric,
    the four-minute warming, the drought
    and construction of great silver towers
    for the final, essential distillation,
    I loaded my mountain-bike panniers
    with Accrington honeydew melons
    and Forthriverbed tangerines,
    pedalled my way across rocky
    escarpments and gulches to forty-
    one North, fifty-twenty-
    two West and clambered aboard.

    [Read the entire poem.]

    From TRIO 7 (Blackstaff Press, 1992)

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