Denis Devlin was born on April 15, 1908, in Greenock, Scotland, of Irish parents.
He entered the Irish diplomatic service in 1935 and served in Europe and the United States, before being appointed minister plenipotentiary to Italy in 1950; he was accredited also to Turkey 1951, and was ambassador to Italy 1958.
Admired by Beckett, who described him as ‘without question the most interestering of the youngest generation of Irish poets’, his books are Poems (with Brian Coffey, privately printed, Dublin, 1930); Intercessions (London, Europa Press, 1937); Lough Derg and Other Poems (New York, Reynal & Hitchcock, 1946); Exile and Other Poems (New York, Pantheon Books, 1949); Memoirs of a Turcoman Diplomat (Rome, Botteghe Oscure XXIV, 1959); and his posthumous Selected Poems (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963). The Complete Poems of Dennis Devlin, edited with an introduction by Brian Coffey, was published in the University Review, Dublin, Volume III, number 5 (no date given), and by The Dolmen Press, Dublin, 1964.
His later posthumous books are Selected Poems (Dublin, New Writers’ Press, 1971); Collected Poems, edited by J.C.C. Mays (Dublin, Dedalus Press,1989); and Translations into English [from French, German and Italian poetry] edited by Roger Little (Dedalus Press, 1992).
He died in Dublin in 1959.