John Montague has published twelve volumes of verse. In 1998 he was the first to be appointed to the prestigious Ireland Chair of Poetry. One of his poems, The Rough Field, begun in 1960, was performed live in the Round House, Chalk Farm, London, in July 1973. The performance was recorded by Claddagh Records and the readers were John Montague, Seamus Heaney, Benedict Kiely, Tom MacGurk and Patrick Magee. Incidental music was played by The Chieftains. The poem is an epic investigating the wars between the chieftains of Ulster and the Elizabethan planters in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and it explores the lives and landscapes of their descendants. Throughout, the younger Montague searches for his own and his people's place among this history. An astonishing performance by some of the most familiar voices in Ireland - although they were all much younger then.
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