Alas, I never met Coffey. It was one of those encounters that never happened and that one regrets not happening and when he died I felt that I had missed yet another moment in time that could never be regained. All I had to remember were the phone conversations and the voice from his letters, which I return to frequently as a measure of his insight, his intellect and the gentle measure of his hand.
Brian Coffey was born in Dublin in 1905 and died in 1995. He entered University College Dublin in 1924, earning advanced degrees in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. He spent a number of years in Paris, where he became friends with such writers as Denis Devlin, Thomas MacGreevy, Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett.
Mark Axelrod is a professor of Comparative Literature & Creative Writing at Chapman University, Orange, California, and a multiple award winner for his screenwriting and fiction.