‘Jim Craven: A Dynamic Genius’ explores the life and works of Jim Craven (1935–1980), a Dundalk poet inspired by Kavanagh and referred to by John B Keane as ‘a dynamic genius.
Born into a large family, he lived in the townland of Balregan in the Parish of Faughart, just a few miles north of Dundalk. The townland where he spent most of his life resulted in one of his local nicknames becoming the ‘Bard of Balregan’. Many also referred to him as the ‘Laureate of Louth’.
His poetry explored many themes including childhood, nature, rurality, sexuality, love, violence, religion, mythology and history. He also wrote frequently on ‘The Troubles’, having been brought up only a stone’s throw from the border.
In his lifetime, Jim had his work published in The Dundalk Democrat and in periodicals in the USA. Two books were published after his death – Selected Poems in 1983 and Nice of You Jim in 2005. His work was also included in Eugene Robert Platt’s A Patrick Kavanagh Anthology in 1973 and Daniel J. Casey’s Poetry of the Cúchulainn Country in 1978.
Craven passed away at the age of 45 years on the 27th April 1980 in a car accident.
Featuring Jim’s brother, Paddy Craven, who wrote a play about Jim’s life that was performed in the Town Hall in 2010, his niece Deirdre Craven, and his good friend Gerry Murphy, the documentary remembers both the man behind the poetry, along with the work that he created during his short life, in order to preserve it for the generations to come.
Local artist Jinx Lennon is also featured throughout performing some of Jim’s many poems.
Jim Craven: Dynamic Genius was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television License fee and produced by Little Road Productions Ltd. for LMFM Radio.
It was broadcast on LMFM Radio on Monday 22ndth April 2019 at 12noon.
listen to the podcast here on LMFM’s website.