Irish academic wins top poetry prize


Irish poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin has won the prestigious Canada-based Griffin Poetry Prize for her collection, The Sun-fish.

Ní Chuilleanáin, born in Cork city in 1942, is a fellow and professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, and a member of Aosdána.

Her collection, published by The Gallery Press, was chosen from almost 400 entries across 12 countries.

Ní Chuilleanáin participated in a reading, along with the other shortlisted poets, at a ceremony in Toronto last night before the winner of the $65,000 (€49,000) overall prize was announced.

The Sun-fish  reinforced convictions that Ní Chuilleanáin’s transforming and transporting ways of seeing are like no other, the judges said.

“These are potent poems, with dense, captivating sound and a certain magic that proves not only to be believable but necessary, in fact, to our understanding of the world around us,” they said.

Ní Chuilleanáin has previously won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, The Irish Times Award for Poetry, and the O’Shaughnessy Award of the Irish-American Cultural Institute for her work.

Since 1975 she has been an editor and publisher of Cyphers,  Ireland’s longest established literary periodical.