Brian Coffey, born on June 8, 1905, was an influential Irish poet and publisher whose work reflected his Catholic faith, background in science and philosophy, and association with French surrealism.
Renowned for his long poems “Advent” (1975) and “Death of Hektor” (1979), Coffey also established Advent Books, a small press, during the 1960s and 1970s.
Brian J. Coffey Wiki & Biography
|Brian J. Coffey
|Date Of Birth
|Glenageary, Co. Dublin
|Film Debut – In the Dark (2010)
TV Show – Rise ‚Äòn Shine Og (2009)
|Famous for starring in the Murdoch Mysteries TV show
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|Height in cm
|Height in Meters
|Height in Feet Inches
|5 feet 6 inches
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Interesting Facts About Brian J. Coffey
- Coffey was born in Dublin, specifically in the suburb of Dún Laoghaire. He received his early education at Mount St Benedict boarding school in Gorey, County Wexford, and later attended Clongowes Wood College in Clane, County Kildare, where James Joyce had previously studied.
- In 1923, Coffey traveled to France to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies at the Institution St Vincent in Senlis, Oise.
- His father, Denis J. Coffey, was a prominent figure in academia, serving as a professor of anatomy at the Catholic University of Ireland Medical School and later as the first president of University College Dublin (UCD).
- Coffey enrolled at UCD in 1924, where he pursued advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, and chemistry while also engaging in boxing tournaments.
- While still a student, Coffey began writing poetry, with his early works published in UCD’s The National Student under the pseudonym Coeuvre. Influenced by French Symbolism and TS Eliot, these poems laid the foundation for his poetic style.
- Coffey’s literary circle expanded when he met Denis Devlin, and together, they published a volume titled “Poems” in 1930. They also participated in college dramatics, performing roles in French plays.
- During the early 1930s, Coffey relocated to Paris, where he studied Physical Chemistry under Nobel laureate Jean Baptiste Perrin. He completed his studies in 1933 and published “Three Poems” the same year, receiving recognition from notable figures like George William Russell and William Butler Yeats.
- Coffey’s association with other Irish writers in Paris, including Thomas MacGreevy and Samuel Beckett, earned him praise as part of a burgeoning poetic scene in Ireland.
- He furthered his academic pursuits by studying with French philosopher Jacques Maritain at the Institut Catholique de Paris, completing his licentiate examination in 1936.
- After returning to Paris in 1937 to work on his doctoral thesis, Coffey’s literary output diminished as he focused on teaching and philosophical work.
- Coffey’s discomfort with his academic role and his distance from Ireland prompted his departure from the United States in 1952, leading him to settle in London and later Southampton in 1973.
- Despite a period of creative silence, Coffey resumed publishing poetry and translations, with notable works including “Missouri Sequence” and “Poems and Versions 1929–1990.”
- Coffey’s contributions to Irish modernist poetry were celebrated through publications like the University Review, which featured a special issue in 1975 showcasing his work.
- He established Advent Books, a platform for publishing his own works and supporting emerging writers. Coffey’s interest in visual art also led to experimentation with concrete poetry.
- His legacy was solidified with the publication of major selections of his poetry and translations, further establishing him as a leading figure in Irish modernism. Coffey passed away at the age of 89 and was laid to rest in Southampton, England.
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