Gabriel Rosenstock was born in Kilfinane, Co. Limerick and studied at University College Cork, where he associated with the Innti group of poets. A former chairman of Poetry Ireland, he is a member of several international haiku associations, and holds an honorary life membership of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Society. He is assistant editor with An Gúm, an Irish language publisher. He lives in Dublin.
Rosenstock is so famously difficult to pin down, that one is slow to try to describe him at all. Indeed, this foxy elusiveness may be his defining feature. Rosenstock is an extraordinary writer who has authored, edited or translated over a hundred books. His poetry, however, is the heart of this body of literary work. From his cheeky first collection Suzanne sa Seomra Folctha in 1973 to his most recent collection, the mystic self-mocking Krishnamurphy Ambaist! , Rosenstock has demonstrated again and again that, for an Irishman, the Irish language is the quickest route out of a self-obsessed Ireland to a cosmopolitanism beyond Anglo-Irish navel-gazing.
In collections such as Om, Nihil Obstat, Rún na gCaisleán, Portrait of the Artist as an Abominable Snowman, Oráistí, Ní Mian léi an Fhilíocht Níos Mó, and Eachtraí Krishnamurphy, Rosenstock coaxes a suppleness out of the Irish language which allows it to perform for him the most extreme acrobatics, both grotesque and graceful; but however elastic the postures, Rosenstock’s Irish never loses its original shape. Rather his earthy, ludic mysticism allows this traditional-minded language to express itself in a hypermodern way without ever becoming estranged.
In his translations too, Gabriel Rosenstock stretches Irish. Most notable are his Irish language versions of Günter Grass, Peter Huchel, Georg Trakl, Hansjörg Schertenleib, Andres Ehin, Michael Augustin and FX Alarcón - here Rosenstock teaches Irish to speak, think and dream in new unfamiliar ways.
Gabriel Rosenstock is a member of Aos Dána, the Irish Academy of Arts and Letters.
Susanne sa seomra folctha, Baile Átha Cliath: Clódhanna, 1973.
Méaram! , Baile Átha Cliath: An Clóchomhar, 1981.
Om, Baile Átha Cliath: An Clóchomhar, 1983.
Nihil Obstat, Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim, 1984.
Migmars, Seanchill, Co. Bhaile Átha Cliath: Ababúna, 1985.
Rún na gCaisleán, Baile Átha Cliath: Taibhse, 1986.
Portrait of the Artist as an Abominable Snowman. Selected Poems, translated from the Irish by Michael Hartnett, and New Poems, translated by Jason Sommer, London, Boston: Forest Books, 1989. Reprinted by Domhan Books, New York.
Oráistí. Rogha dánta agus dánta nua, Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar Chonnachta, 1991.
Ní mian léi an fhilíocht níos mó, Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1993.
Rogha Rosenstock, Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 1994.
Syójó, Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta, 2001.
Eachtraí Krishnamurphy, Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim, 2003.
Forgotten Whispers / Cogair dhearúdta, Kinsale: Anam Press, 2003. (Haiku with photography by John Minihan).
Krishnamurphy Ambaist, Baile Átha Cliath: Coiscéim, 2004.
Hymn to the Earth, Holden, MA: The Silverstrand Press, 2004. (Poems and photography by Ron Rosenstock).
Rogha Dánta/ Selected Poems, translated by Paddy Bushe: CIC, 2005
Large selection of Rosenstock’s poetry and links
Essay on Haikus
Biographical information on Irish Arts Council’s site
Gabriel Rosenstock on Lyrikline
In English and Irish
Rosenstock’s Selected Poems on publisher’s site