Finalists for Irish Times-Poetry Now Award announced

Bookmarks: a round-up of the latest Irish literary news and listings

Katie Donovan was shortlisted for her collection Off Duty. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Katie Donovan was shortlisted for her collection Off Duty. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Five collections published in 2016 have been shortlisted for this year’s Irish Times-Poetry Now Award which is presented annually at the dlr Poetry Now festival in Dún Laoghaire, which this year takes place in March.

The five poets are: Paddy Bushe for On A Turning Wing (Dedalus); Katie Donovan for Off Duty (Bloodaxe); Thomas McCarthy for Pandemonium (Carcanet); Paula Meehan for Geomantic (Dedalus); and Macdara Woods for Music From the Big Tent (Dedalus).

The €2,000 annual prize, which has been presented for the past 11 years, has been won by major poets including Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, Harry Clifton, Sinead Morrissey, Dennis O’Driscoll and Theo Dorgan. The winner of last year’s Irish Times-Poetry Now award was Caitríona O’ Reilly for Geis (Bloodaxe Books ).

The judges for this year’s prize are broadcaster and journalist Olivia O’Leary, editor of The Stinging Fly Declan Meade and poet and critic Michael O’Loughlin.

This year’s winner will be announced in The Irish Times on March 25th and presented with the prize on the same day as part of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Council’s Mountains-to-Sea literary festival.

Bushe writes in English and Irish and is also a translator. He has published 10 collections, including To Ring In Silence: New and Selected Poems. He was the editor of Voices at the World’s Edge: Irish Poets on Skellig Michael and has translated the work of Sorley MacLean into Irish.

Katie Donovan’s Off Duty is her fifth collection. The Wexford-born poet also published Rootling: New and Selected Poems in 2010. She will be the recipient of this year’s O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award, presented annually to an Irish poet by the University of St Thomas in Minnesota.

Dublin-born Paula Meehan has just completed a three-year term as Ireland Professor of Poetry. Her public lectures, Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, was published last year. Dedalus has also published a selection of her seminal poems from the 1980s and 1990s, Mysteries of the Home.

Thomas McCarthy was born in Waterford and lives in Cork. His many collections include The Sorrow Garden, The Lost Province, Merchant Prince and The Last Geraldine Officer ( all published by Anvil ). He was an honorary fellow of the International Writing Programme at University of Iowa and a recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award.

Macdara Woods has published more than a dozen collections. His Collected Poems was published by Dedalus in 2012. His work has been translated into many languages and set to music. His is one of the founding editors of one of Ireland’s longest-established literary magazines, Cyphers.

Three of the shortlisted poets, Paddy Bushe, Katie Donovan and Thomas McCarthy, will have new poems in a selection from poets taking part in this year’s Cork International Poetry Festival (February 14th-18th ) in next Saturday’s books pages.

Wall wins Drue Heinz prize

William Wall is the 2017 winner of the $15,000 (€13,900) Drue Heinz Literature Prize, one of the most prestigious US awards for a book of short stories. His manuscript The Islands was selected by author David Gates from more than 300 entries. It will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press later this year. “The Islands is evocative, moving yet tough-minded, written with marvellous style and authority,” Gates said. Wall said, “I’m really delighted to have won this award. I’ve never been to the USA and I can’t think of a better way to make my first trip.”

Death announced

The death has occurred of Solange Raytchine Joyce, wife of Stephen Joyce, grandson of James Joyce. She was in her late 80s. The couple were married in 1955, with Samuel Beckett as best man. They lived and worked in Paris, where Mrs Joyce practised as a dentist. They have lived in retirement for many years on the French Atlantic coast. Mrs Joyce had played a very active role, with her husband, in the administration of the James Joyce estate, writes Terence Killeen.

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