Poet and theologian, Pádraig Ó Tuama’s work centres around themes of language, power, conflict and religion.
For Ó Tuama, religion, conflict, power and poetry all circle around language, that original sacrament. Working fluently on the page and in public, he is a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. He presents Poetry Unbound with On Being Studios.
When BBC journalist William Crawley introduced Pádraig on the stage to deliver a TEDx talk on Story, Crawley said, “He’s probably the best public speaker I know.”
Ó Tuama’s published work incorporates poetry (Readings from the Book of Exile [longlisted for the Polari Prize 2013]; Sorry for your Troubles, Feed the Beast), prose (In The Shelter) and theology (Daily Prayer; Borders & Belonging, with Glenn Jordan) and anthologies: Poetry Unbound; 50 Poems to Open Your World. Work is featured or forthcoming in Poetry Ireland Review, Academy of American Poets, Raidio Teilifís Éireann’s Poem of the Week, Post Road, IMAGE, Dumbo Feather, Gutter, America, and New England Review. He has broadcasted, recited and been interviewed many times on RTÉ, BBC (Radio 4, Radios Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland) and Radio National (Australia). His work has been used in Medical Journals, quoted by Princes and used in Atlases and Liturgies.
From 2014-2019 he was the leader of the Corrymeela Community, Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation community.
Pádraig is married to Paul Doran. Together, in 2011, they founded Tenx9, a storytelling event where nine people have up to ten minutes each to tell a true story from their lives. Begun in Belfast, this event now has satellite events in many other cities.
He holds a BA Div validated by the Pontifical College of Maynooth, an MTh from Queen’s University Belfast and is currently pursuing in a PhD in at the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow exploring poetry, prayer and agnosticism. In addition to these qualifications, Ó Tuama has numerous professional accreditations in conflict, focusing particularly on dynamics of group conflicts.