Theo Dorgan wins Irish Times-Poetry Now award

Cork-born poet takes €2,000 prize for ‘Nine Bright Shiners’ collection



The winner of this year’s Irish Times Poetry Now award is Cork-born poet Theo Dorgan for his collection, Nine Bright Shiners. The presentation of the €2,000 prize will take place at 12.30pm on Saturday in the dlr Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire’s new library, as part of the dlr Poetry Now festival.

Nine Bright Shiners (Dedalus Press) was shortlisted along with, Burnfort, Las Vegas by Martina Evans (Anvil Press), Kerry Hardie’s The Zebra Stood in the Night (Bloodaxe Books), Vona Groarke’s X (Gallery Press), and Peter Sirr’s The Rooms (Gallery Press ).

The judges were Caitríona Crowe, head of special projects at the National Archives; UCD lecturer and author Lucy Collins and the poet Thomas McCarthy whose collection Pandemonium is due later this year.

Nine Bright Shiners is a luminous book, in which moments of personal connection carry lasting significance,” the judges said. “Many of the poems are elegies; they speak of the tenacious power of love and art, of the process of losing and taking one’s place in the world.”

Dorgan’s previous collections of poetry include Greek, What This Earth Cost Us and The Ordinary House of Love. He has also published a novel, Making Way and two travel books, Sailing for Home and Time on the Ocean.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the poetry prize and the 20th anniversary of the Poetry Now festival.