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Padraic Colum


Padraic Colum was born Patrick Columb in 1881 in a County Longford workhouse, where his father worked as a teacher. His father lost his job and went to the United States to join the Colorado Gold Rush, leaving his wife and children in Ireland. When he returned, he became an assistant manager at a railway station near Dublin. When his mother died, Padraic and one brother remained in Dublin while the rest of the family moved back to Longford. Padraic became a clerk to the Irish Railway Clearing House.

At this time he started to write and became friends with various writers, including James Joyce, W B Yeats and Lady Gregory. He started by rewriting Irish folk songs that he collected, then wrote poetry, then moved to drama and writing Irish legends and tales for children. It was these tales that gave hm financial security.

Colum was involved in the founding of the Abbey Theatre, thanks to his drama writing. In 1930 he and his wife moved to Paris, where he resumed acquaintance with Joyce and helped in the transcription of Finnegans Wake. In 1933 they moved to the United States and Colum divided his time between Ireland and the United States, till his death in 1972 in the United States. While he will be remembered for hs poetry and children’s versions of Irish legends and folk tales, he did write two novels for adults.

Books about Padraic Colum
Zack Bowen: Padraic Colum
Sanford Sternlicht: Padraic Colum

Other links

Padraic Colum
Padraic Colum
Padraic Colum
Padraic Colum


1902 The Saxon Shillin’ (drama)
1903 Broken Sail (drama)
1905 The Land (drama)
1907 Wild Earth (Book)
1907 The Fiddlers’ House (drama)
1907 Heather Ale (poetry)
1910 Thomas Muskerry (drama)
1912 My Irish Year
1915 A Boy in Eirinn
1916 The King of Ireland’s Son (children’s)
1916Wild Earth and Other Poems (poetry)
1917 Mogu the Wanderer (drama)
1918 The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy (later:The Children’s Homer) (children’s)
1918 The Boy Who Knew What The Birds Said (children’s)
1919 The Girl Who Sat by the Ashes (children’s)
1920 The Boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter
1920 The Children of Odin (children’s)
1921 The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles (children’s)
1922 The Children Who Followed the Piper
1923 The Six Who Were Left in a Shoe (children’s)
1923 Castle Conquer (novel)
1924 The Island of the Mighty: Being the Hero Stories of Celtic Britain Retold from the Mabinogion
1924 At the Gateways of the Day (tales and legends of Hawaii)
1924 Six Who Were Left in a Shoe (children’s)
1924 The Island of the Mighty (children’s)
1924 The Peep-Show Man (children’s)
1925 The Bright Islands (tales and legends of Hawaii Vol. 2)
1925 The Voyagers (children’s)
1925 he Forge in the Forest (children’s)
1926 he Way of the Cross: Devotions on the Progress of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the Judgement Hall to Calvary (poetry)
1927 Creatures (poetry)
1927 The Fountain of Youth (children’s)
1929 The Strindbergian Balloon (drama)
1930 Old Pastures (poetry)
1939 Three Men: A Tale
1932 Poems
1932 A Half-Day’s Ride or Estates in Corsica (travel)
1933 The Big Tree of Bunlahy: Stories of My Own Countryside (children’s)
1933 The White Sparrow (children’s)
1937 Legends of Hawaii
1937 The Story of Lowry Maen (poetry)
1938 Flower Pieces, New Poems (poetry)
1940 Where the Winds never Blew and the Cocks Never Crew (children’s)
1954 The Vegetable Kingdom (poetry)
1957 The Flying Swans (novel)
1959 Ten Poems (poetry)
1958 Our Friend James Joyce (memoir – with Mary Colum)
1963 Moytura: A Play for Dancers (drama)
1969 Images of Departure (poetry)
1985 Selected Short Stories of Padraic Colum
1986 Selected Plays of Padraic Colum
1989 Selected Poems