Irish Times Poetry Now shortlist announced


AWARD:SEAMUS HEANEY and Paul Muldoon are among the five poets shortlisted for the 2011 Irish Times Poetry Now Award. They are joined by Sara Berkeley, Ciaran Carson and Dermot Healy as the nominees for the €5,000 prize, which is presented annually for the best single volume published in the preceding 12 months.

Previous winners include Derek Mahon, on two occasions, for Life on Earthand for Harbour Lights; as well as Harry Clifton, for Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004; Seamus Heaney, for District and Circle; and Dorothy Molloy, who won posthumously, in the first year of the award, for her debut collection, Hare Soup. Sinéad Morrissey won last year for Through the Square Window.

The judges for this year’s award are the poet, novelist and screenwriter Brian Lynch, author of the novel The Winner of Sorrow;the Cork poet Leanne O’Sullivan, who is the author of two collections, most recently Cailleach: The Hag of Beara, and winner of the 2010 Rooney Prize for Literature; and Borbála Faragó, lecturer, critic and co-editor of Landing Places: Immigrant Poets in Ireland.

This year’s winner will be presented with the award during the DLR Poetry Now International Poetry Festival, which takes place from March 24th to 27th. Programme details will appear on the festival website,, in mid February.

A Fool’s Errand by Dermot Healy (The Gallery Press)

This is the fourth collection of the Westmeath-born poet and novelist. His previous collections from Gallery are The Ballyconnell Colours, What the Hammer and The Reed Bed. Healy, who now lives in Co Sligo, is also the author of several works of prose, including the novel A Goat’s Song and a memoir, The Bend for Home. A new novel, Long Time, No See, is due in April.

Maggot by Paul Muldoon (Faber and Faber)

Paul Muldoon was born in Co Armagh and teaches at Princeton University. His first book, New Weather, was published in 1973. His 2002 collection, Moy Sand and Gravel, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other collections include Why Brownlee Left, Quoof and Horse Latitudes. He was Oxford professor of poetry from 1999 to 2004. He won the Irish Times Poetry Prize in 1997 and is also a winner of the TS Eliot Prize.

Until Before After by Ciaran Carson (The Gallery Press)

Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast, where he is professor of poetry and director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University. His last collection, On the Night Watch, was nominated for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award last year. He won the Forward poetry prize for Breaking News and was nominated for the TS Eliot Prize for For All We Know. His prose books include The Star Factory and The Pen Friend.

The View from Here by Sara Berkeley (The Gallery Press)

Sara Berkeley was born in Dublin and has lived in the US for many years. Her first collection, Penn, was published by Raven Arts Press in 1986. This was followed by Home Movie Nights. She has since published several collections of poetry, including her last book, Strawberry Thief, as well as a collection of short stories, The Swimmer in the Deep Blue Dream.

Human Chain by Seamus Heaney (Faber and Faber)

Human Chain is the Co Derry-born poet’s 12th collection. He has been the recipient of many awards and honours, most notably the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1995. His last collection, District and Circle, won the Irish Times Poetry Now Award for 2006 and the TS Eliot Prize. Human Chain received the recent Forward Prize and is also on the shortlist for this year’s TS Eliot award.