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Welcome to the Monasterevin Hopkins Society website.

Our society celebrates Gerard Manley Hopkins, his poetry and his unique connection to our community in Monasterevin.  We hold a annual festival, and invite you to join us and gain an insight into the community and location that he referred to as “one of the props and struts of my existence”.

Zoom Covid Info Image

Due to the current Covid 19 pandemic this year’s Festival will be a Free virtual Zoom event for Lectures and Poetry Reading.

To register for free online lectures and to keep up to date on MHS Society and Festival News, please subscribe to our mailing list:

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We are pleased to announce provisional details of the 2021 Festival:

Fri 23rd July 2021

  • Moore Abbey Concert with tenor Aaron Doyle (We are currently investigating the possibility of having a virtual Concert – watch this space!)

Sat 24th July 2021

  • Lecture by Will Daunt – Gerard Manley Hopkins : The Lydiate Connection
  • Lecture by Hilary Davies – Title to be announced
  • Poetry Reading by Hilary Davies, Poet.
  • Art Exhibition (We are investigating the possibility of having exhibition online)

Gerard Manley Hopkins: the Lydiate Connections

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Ormskirk Imprint. ISBN 9780244165024

Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry had an enormous influence on the evolution of twentieth century poetry in English, and two of his most distinctive poems were written while he was posted to the Jesuit church of St. Francis Xavier, in Liverpool in 1880-1881. ‘Felix Randal’ tells of the life and death of a parishioner that the poet had ministered to. ‘Spring and Fall’ was composed during one of Hopkins’ frequent visits to the village of Lydiate, where he was sent to say Mass at Rose Hill House.
This local guide reflects particularly on what might have inspired that poem: the countryside, the people and Hopkins’ own life. It follows the publication of Will Daunt’s related piece in The Hopkins Quarterly, Winter-Spring 2018 and includes specially-commissioned artwork by Susan Hodgkins. The book concludes with a local guided walk and an Afterword by the renowned Hopkins scholar, Professor Joseph Feeney S.J.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will be given to the Liverpool-based charity, Hospice Africa.

Useful Information:
Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (28 July 1844 – 8 June 1889) was an English poet, Roman Catholic convert, and a Jesuit priest, whose posthumous fame established him among the leading Victorian poets.  His experimental explorations in prosody (especially sprung rhythm) and his use of imagery established him as a daring innovator in a period of largely traditional verse.

Hopkins in Monasterevin

Hopkins moved to Dublin in 1884 and died there in 1889.  During this time he was a professor of Greek and Latin at University College Dublin.  In letters to his mother and friend, English Poet Laureate Robert Bridges, he fondly mentions taking 6 or 7 short breaks at Monasterevin House with the Cassidy sisters commencing in 1886.  The Cassidy family were wealthy Catholic whiskey distillers.

Monasterevin Celebrating Hopkins

Monasterevin has been celebrating the Hopkins’ association since 1988 when a module on Hopkins was included in the Monasterevin Canal Festival.  The Monasterevin community has supported and organised the Annual Monasterevin Hopkins Festival every year since, under the aegis of a number of community organisations.  Since 2010, the Annual Hopkins Festival is organised by the Monasterevin Hopkins Society.

Our Annual Festival

The Annual Monasterevin Hopkins Festival is a celebration of Hopkins, his poetry and his connection with Monasterevin.  The program consists of poetry, literature, lectures, and music .  Please visit our Past Programs page for further information.

If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback, please feel free to contact us.