‘My favourite achievement? Staying curious, loving the world, not despairing’ – Paula Meehan, poet

The former Ireland Professor of Poetry on her dream dinner party guests, the relevance of James Joyce to her life and work, and her motto for life

Paula Meehan has published several award-winning collections of poetry, and her new collection For the Hungry Ghost is inspired by the Hades episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses

Paula Meehan first published her work at the tender age of 16 in a zine in Finglas in Dublin. “I was into everything,” the poet recalls. “Dance, drama, street theatre, painting, puppet making, seeing the world.” The young writer kept notebooks into which she would scribble her words. “A few lucky encounters, and people are calling me a poet,” she recalls. “What can you do?”

A former Ireland Professor of Poetry, Meehan is one of ...