Benedict Kiely

Irish, 1919-2007

Benedict Kiely was born in 1919 in Dromore, Northern Ireland. After a stint as a mail clerk and another as a Jesuit prospective, he began working as a part-time journalist for The Weekly Standard newspaper and realized his writerly vocation. He would go on to serve as a literary editor at The Irish Press, a Writer-in-Residence at Emory University and Hollins College, and a visiting professor at the University of Oregon and the University of Delaware, all the while building an impressive body of work that includes short stories, novels, radio plays, and literary criticism. In 1996, at which point he was one of the most beloved authors to come out of Ireland, he was named Saoi of Aosdána, the highest honour given by the Arts Council of Ireland.