Distant Summers: Remembering Philip Casey

Published in 2024 by Arlen House, Paul contributed the short memoir piece Windfall Oak. Edited by Eamonn Wall, Katie Donovan and Michael Considine.

Review in the Irish Times. Buy online at Books Upstairs.

“One of our most beloved contemporary poets”, is how former Ireland Professor of Poetry Paula Meehan describes Philip Casey (1950-2018). Cherished by many for his tenderness, fortitude, hope and tenacity, Philip was an award-winning novelist, admired poet and vital presence on the Irish literary scene for four decades. Philip battled repeated health challenges, stood up for causes he believed in, and relished making mischief. He was, in the words of the poet Theo Dorgan, “some man for one man”. Philip believed in the idea of a community of writers, and his open-mindedness drew others towards him – whether to his Dublin home, or to his grassroots support base in his earlier home of Hollyfort, Co Wexford. His booming laugh and powerful handshake were legendary. The many contributors, including Sebastian Barry, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Dermot Bolger, Moya Cannon and Thomas Lynch, praise Philip Casey’s gifts as a writer of poetry and fiction, as well as highlighting their admiration for him as a man.