In this article, I examine Conor O’Callaghan’s poetry in the context of post- or after-Irishness and migration. The idea of a traditional Irish national literature has diminished in importance and relevance in recent years. Irish writers are now more sensitized to alternative modes of identification, unbound by the constraints of a singular concept of ‘Irishness’. This is especially significant for migrant writers, who are geographically removed from Ireland. O’Callaghan (born 1968) is himself a migrant: having lived in America, he now lives in England. Drawn from his experiences of transnational migration, O’Callaghan explores the different locales that he has known. He also feels free to write about suburban life, love, and the internet in an often quick-witted vernacular. What then is O’Callaghan’s aesthetic response to the experience of migrancy? Does O’Callaghan’s poetry exhibit an after-Irish diasporic aesthetic? Although O’Callaghan’s poetry is imbued with a diasporic multi-locatedness, both intellectual and geographical, his sense of Irish identity remains strong, and his poetry also often expresses a desire for rootedness.
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