Eoin McNamee’s Blue is the Night wins €15,000 Kerry Group Irish Novel of Year Award
Paul Muldoon wins €5,000 Pigott Poetry Prize for One Thousand Things Worth Knowing at ceremony to mark opening of Listowel Writers’ Week
Eoin McNamee: “Eoin McNamee’s Blue is the Night is the kind of novel you go looking for,” said judge Gerald Dawe. “It tells a story, it tells it well, and underneath the calm prose style the ground is shifting. It is a truly unforgettable read.” Photograph: Eric Luke
Eoin McNamee’s Blue Is The Night won the €15,000 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2015 at the opening night of Listowel Writers’ Week. It is the biggest prize awarded for a book published by an Irish author.
The other major award at the festival, which was officially opened by Laureate for Irish Fiction Anne Enright , went to Paul Muldoon, who received the €5,000 Pigott Poetry Prize for his collection One Thousand Things Worth Knowing.
The awards evening was hosted by Writers’ Week president Colm Tóibín in the Listowel Arms Hotel, a favourite haunt of William Makepeace Thackeray.
The novel of the year was chosen by judges Eileen Battersby, literary correspondent of The Irish Times, and Gerald Dawe, of Trinity College Dulbin. Dawe said: “Eoin McNamee’s Blue is the Night is the kind of novel you go looking for – it tells a story, it tells it well, and underneath the calm prose style the ground is shifting. It is a truly unforgettable read.”
Blue is the Night is the current Irish Times Book Club selection. It is the culmination of the Kilkeel, Co Down-born author’s Blue trilogy, described by David Peace, bestselling author of the Red Riding quartet, as: “one of the very finest series of crime novels ever written – and yet, at the same time, this final novel both illuminates and transcends the previous two to stand alone alongside books as great as The Glass Key and Shutter Island as that rarest of things: a genuine, original masterpiece.”
The other shortlisted novels were: City of Dis by David Butler; The Closet of Savage Mementos by Nuala Ní Chonchúir; The Visitors by Patrick O’Keeffe; and The Diary of Mary Travers by Eibhear Walshe.
John Boland and Gillian Clarke judged the poetry prize, whose other shortlisted titles were: From Elsewhere by Ciaran Carson; Gathering Evidence by Caoilinn Hughes; Before Rain by Ger Reidy; and The Rooms by Peter Sirr. Sponsor Mark Pigott said: “My family is very proud that Paul Muldoon has been selected as the 2015 Pigott Poetry Prize winner. Paul is an extraordinary poet, whose poems capture the wonderful grace and grandeur of Ireland, its people and the countryside we all love. I congratulate all the poets who have been recognised by the Pigott Poetry Prize.”
The festival runs until May 31st and features a host of national and international authors including Per Petterson, Sara Baume, Dennis Lehane, Neel Mukherjee, Claire-Louise Bennett, Andrew O’Hagan and Jesse Armstrong.
For further information see www.writersweek.ie