Dublin poet wins Hennessy new writer award


DUBLIN POET David Mohan has won the 2008 Hennessy XO New Irish Writer Award.

Mohan (37) was presented with the award at a ceremony in Dublin’s Four Seasons hotel for his poem Runaway: The Prodigy.

As the overall winner, he received €2,500, to add to €1,500 awarded as winner of the emerging poetry category.

Kevin Power, author of Bad Day in Blackrock, a work of fiction based on the death of a young man after an attack outside a Dublin nightclub, took the award for emerging fiction for his short story The American Girl. The First Fiction Award went to 22-year-old Eimear Ryan from Tipperary, for her short story Caterpillar.

Acclaimed novelist and memoirist Hugo Hamilton was inducted into the Hennessy XO Literary Awards Hall of Fame.

Hamilton wrote The Speckled People, about his childhood growing up in Dún Laoghaire with a German mother and Irish father; a further memoir, The Sailor in the Wardrobe; as well as six novels, a book of short stories and a book in German that retraces a journey through Ireland by Heinrich Böll. He has been described in this newspaper by poet Bernard O’Donoghue as “one of the most important writers of our time”.

“It’s a great honour,” he said of his inclusion alongside Anne Enright and Dermot Bolger among others. “The one thing about writing is that you are always a beginner. If you don’t consider yourself a beginner then you’ve nothing more to say.”