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Brian Coffey letter to Dee

Identifier: MSS 0099-F0934

Scope and Content Note

Irish poet Brian Coffey handwrote this letter to an unidentified person named "Dee" to accompany an issue of The Lace Curtain, which published an extract from Concerning Making.

Coffey's letter regarded the difficulties which "Dee" had mentioned in a letter that Coffey had received that morning. Coffey counseled "Dee" that he could "appeal for good manners" from his "ill-motivated" attackers but "Dee" need not respond to their charges. The content of the letter suggested an academic setting and mentioned American literary critic and biographer Richard Ellman, who was teaching at Oxford in 1978. Coffey also referred to the accompanying copy of The Lace Curtain.


  • Creation: 1978 October 20


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Brian Coffey (1905-1995)

Avant-garde Irish poet Brian Coffey (1905-1995) was highly influenced by French surrealism and produced works that drew from his interests in philosophy and religion, particularly Catholicism. Coffey ran his own press, Advent Books, in the 1960s and 1970s.

As early as 1924, Coffey began writing poetry. Under the pseudonym, Coeuvre, Coffey published his first poems in the University College, Dublin's The National Student.

During these early years, Coffey met fellow aspiring poet Denis Devlin, who would become a lifelong friend. While in Paris in the 1930s, Coffey studied with French philosopher Jacques Maritain and became acquainted with Irish literary expatriates, Thomas MacGreevy and Samuel Beckett, both of whom encouraged his writing. Coffey’s best known work is Missouri Sequence.

In 1966, Coffey attended printing classes and established his own press, Advent Books, which began publishing limited editions of poetry with a special emphasis on typography and jacket design. Brian Coffey died on April 14, 1995, at his home in Southampton, England.

"Brian Coffey." Dictionary of Irish Literature. Revised and Expanded Edition. Ed. Robert Hogan. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1996. "Introductory Essay."The Irish University Review, Special Brian Coffey Issue, 5:1 (Spring 1975): 9-29.


2 item


Irish poet Brian Coffey (1905-1995) handwrote this letter to an unidentified person named "Dee" to accompany an issue of The Lace Curtain, which published an extract from Concerning Making.


Purchase, December 2012.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 0099, F0854, Brian Coffey letters to Mark Axelrod.

MSS 0382, Brian Coffey papers.

Shelving Summary

Box 64, F0934: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.


Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, April 2013. Further encoded by George Apodaca, October 2015.

Finding aid for Brian Coffey letter to Dee
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2013 April 29
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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