John Menaghan

John Menaghan

Professor: A.B., Boston College; M.A., Syracuse University; Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley.

Director: Irish Studies Program
Director: Summer in Ireland

John Menaghan teaches courses in Irish literature and culture, twentieth-century literature, the dramatic monologue, and creative writing.

Menaghan has published three books of poetry, all with Salmon Poetry (Ireland): All the Money in the World (1999), She Alone (2006), and What Vanishes (2009). Kirkus Reviews describes his first book, as “an auspicious beginning” and the poems therein as “humorous, ironic, erotic, neurotic, and tender both by turns & often simultaneously . . . quite wonderful.” The Hudson Review calls his second book, "one of the best books of 2006," containing "fifty-odd lyrics, each in a different form, each handled with unobtrusive panache," "poetry with a human center," "smart and affecting," "utterly original," and "a book in which style and substance harmonize," & concludes by calling the poet himself "the real thing."  Midwest Book Review calls She Alone "a unique experience in epic poetry and enthusiastically recommended."  And Books Ireland describes What Vanishes as “evocative,” “experimental,” and with a sense of form and flow reminiscent of “jazz.”

Winner of an Academy of American Poets prize and several other awards, Menaghan has given poetry readings in a variety of venues from London to Paris to Debrecen (Hungary) as well as around Ireland from Dublin to Galway to Donegal and across America from New York to Honolulu. His poems and translations have appeared in U.S. and Irish journals, including Atlanta Review, Poetry Ireland, The Court Journal, Working Papers in Irish Studies, Occident, Berkeley Poetry Review, Revival, nthposition, Boston College Magazine, Song, California Quarterly, Salome, Syracuse Review, Syracuse Poems and Stories, Bloodroot, and Stylus.

Menaghan’s short play A Rumor of Rain has been performed at the Empty Stage Theater in Los Angeles (as part of an evening that included work by John Patrick Shanley and Neil Simon) and at The Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica.  His play What? was also performed at The Promenade Playhouse, and a third play entitled To Put Away Childish Things? has been performed at both the Shelterbelt Theatre in Omaha, Nebraska and at Theatre Encino. What? and another play, Too Cool, Gotta Go, were semi-finalists at The Elephant Theatre, Los Angeles. Raw was a semi-finalist for NYC’s 28th Street Theatre One-Act Festival, and Break of Day was a semi-finalist for the Source Festival in Washington, D.C.  Menaghan’s work has also received staged readings at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood, by the Women in Theatre group in Los Angeles, and as part of the New Works Festival at Loyola Marymount University.  Both A Rumor of Rain & To Put Away Childish Things? were prizewinners for “Script Tease 2007” in San Diego.  He directed a staged reading of a script/performance version of She Alone at LMU in 2007, and now that script is under development for a possible future production by Fairground Theatre Group, Bristol, UK. 

On the scholarly side, Menaghan has published an article on Robert Browning in University of Toronto Quarterly and one on James Joyce & Samuel Beckett in Colby Quarterly, as well as a chapter on Maeve Brennan in Too Smart to be Sentimental (a volume of essays on Irish American Women Writers published by the University of Notre Dame Press). He has also presented scholarly papers at conferences across America as well as in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Sweden, and served as a reviewer for the University of California Press and Routledge.

Menaghan serves as Director of both the Irish Studies & Summer in Ireland programs and runs the annual LMU Irish Cultural Festival.