Poetry award shortlist announced

IRISH TIMES POETRY NOW AWARD: THE FIVE POETS selected to go on the shortlist for this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now Award are…

IRISH TIMES POETRY NOW AWARD:THE FIVE POETS selected to go on the shortlist for this year's Irish Times Poetry Now Award are announced today.

They are Ciaran Carson for On The Night Watch; Vona Groarke for Spindrift;Sinéad Morrissey for Through the Square Window;Eileán Ní Chuilleanáin for The Sun-Fish,and Peter Sirr for The Thing Is.

The Irish TimesPoetry Now Award is presented annually to the author of the best single volume of poems published by an Irish poet in the previous year. The winner will be presented with €5,000 during the DLR International Poetry Festival, which will take place in Dún Laoghaire from March 25th-28th.

This is the sixth year of the award, which was won last year by Derek Mahon for his collection Life on Earth; he also won the prize in 2005 for Harbour Lights. Other previous winners were Seamus Heaney for District and Circle, Harry Clifton for Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004, and Dorothy Molloy, who won the inaugural prize for her posthumously published collection Hare Soup.


The judges for The Irish TimesPoetry Now Award are poet and translator, John F Deane; poet Alan Gillis who teaches in Edinburgh University, and academic and literary critic Maria Johnston.

The Thing Is

by Peter Sirr (The Gallery Press)

Peter Sirr works as a freelance writer and translator. The Thing Is is his seventh collection. Other books include Marginal Zones,which was published in 1984 and was followed by Talk, Talk; Ways of Feeling, The Ledger of Fruitful Exchange, Bring Everything,and Nonetheless.

His Selected Poemsappeared in 2004. He was director of the Irish Writers' Centre from 1991-2002 and editor of Poetry Ireland Review(2003-2007). He is a member of Aosdána.


by Vona Groarke

(The Gallery Press)

Spindriftis Vona Groarke's fifth collection and a Poetry Society Recommendation. The Gallery Press has also published Shale, Other People's Houses, Flightand Juniper Street.

She is also the author of a version of Eibhlin Dubh Ni Chonaill's eighteenth century Irish poem Lament for Art O'Leary. She teaches at the Centre for New Writing in the University of Manchester.

On The Night Watch

by Ciaran Carson

(The Gallery Press)

Ciaran Carson is professor of poetry and director of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University, Belfast. His collections include The Irish For No, Belfast Confetti– which won The Irish TimesLiterature Prize for Poetry – Breaking News,a winner of the Forward Prize and the T S Eliot and Costa award-nominated For All We Know.His C ollected Poemsappeared in 2008. He is also the author of several works of prose fiction including The Star Factoryand, most recently, The Pen Friend.

The Sun-Fish

by Eileán Ní Chuilleanáin

(The Gallery Press)

Eileán Ní Chuilleanáin is a Fellow and associate professor of English at Trinity College Dublin. Her first collection, Acts and Monuments, won the Patrick Kavanagh Award. Other collections include The Brazen Serpentand The Girl who Married the Reindeer.Her Selected Poemswere published in 2008. She was one of the founders of the literary journal Cyphers. The Sun-Fishwas also shortlisted for this year's T S Eliot Prize. She is a member of Aosdána.

Through the Square Window

by Sinéad Morrissey

(Carcanet Press)

Sinéad Morrissey received a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2007 and has three earlier books of poetry, There Was Fire in Vancouver, Between Here and Thereand The State of the Prisons, nominated for the T S Eliot and Irish Times Poetry Now prizes. Her awards include the Patrick Kavanagh and Michael Hartnett. She is a lecturer in creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Queen's University, Belfast.