Books History

Mayo poet and Abbey Theatre director remembered in new book

Arlen House, in partnership with Poetry Ireland and the author’s relatives, is celebrating the poetry of F.R. Higgins with the publication of his ‘Father and Son: Selected Poems’, to be launched in his birthplace, Foxford, on Tuesday, 10th September.

There will also be book launches in Dublin and Meath and a copy is also being presented to the President of Ireland.

‘Father and Son’ also serves to honour Dardis Clarke (1939-2013) who championed Frederick Robert Higgins’ work – Dardis’s father was the famous poet Austin Clarke who was a close friend of F.R. Higgins.

Frederick Robert Higgins (1896-1941) was born in Foxford, Co. Mayo, and among his best-loved poems is one about nearby Drummin Wood.

He spent summers with his relatives in Higginsbrook, Co. Meath, and much of his working life in Dublin where he reached the position of Managing Director of the Abbey Theatre.

Four of his books were published (‘Island Blood’; ‘The Dark Breed’; ‘Arable Holdings’; and ‘The Gap of Brightness’).

In the 1930s he became a great friend of W.B. Yeats and worked with him on several poetry projects.

Foxford launch

Dardis Clarke and Aidan Gray, a relative of the author from Higginsbrook, Meath, worked together to compile this volume.

Joseph Woods, poet and former director of Poetry Ireland, has written a stimulating introduction honouring both F.R. Higgins and Dardis Clarke.

By Anthony Hickey

Follow writer and photographer, Anthony Hickey, as he travels around his native Co. Mayo, Ireland.