Seán Ó Riordáin was born in Ballyvourney in 1917. He left his homeplace at 15 years of age and he lived in Inish Carra near Cork City for the remainder of his life. Only four of his collections were published during his life time and a further one post-humously. In the twilight years of his life he wrote a series of essays for The Irish Times which were widely read. He also kept a diary in which, according to his biographer, Sean Ó Coileáin, can be found some of the sharpest prose in modern Irish.