James Stephens, 1882–1950, Irish poet and fiction writer, b. Dublin. One of the leading figures of the Irish literary renaissance, Stephens is best known for his fanciful and highly colored prose writings—The Crock of Gold (1912), The Demi-Gods (1914), Irish Fairy Tales (1920), Deirdre (1923), and In the Land of Youth (1924). In these works and others he made vivacious use of Irish legend and folklore. His first volume of poetry, Insurrections, appeared in 1909. Later volumes include Songs from the Clay (1915) and Kings and the Moon (1938). Possessed of a superb speaking voice, he gave many recitations of his poetry and, in later years, lectured on the radio.
See A James Stephens Reader (ed. by L. Frankenberg, 1962).