Sinead Morrissey wins €5,000 'Irish Times' Poetry Now award


THE LATEST collection from the Co Armagh-born poet Sinead Morrissey has won this year’s Irish TimesPoetry Now Award. The €5,000 award for her book, Through the Square Window, will be presented to the poet at the dlr Poetry Now festival in Dún Laoghaire today.

The other shortlisted poets were: Ciarán Carson, for On the Night Watch; Vona Groarke, for Spindrift; Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin for The Sun-Fish; and Peter Sirr for The Thing Is.

Sinead Morrissey received a Lannan Literary Fellowship in 2007 and is the author of three previous books of poetry, There Was Fire in Vancouver, Between Here and Thereand The State of the Prisons, which was also nominated for the Irish TimesPoetry prize. Her awards include the Patrick Kavanagh and Michael Hartnett awards. She is a lecturer in creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Queen’ University Belfast. Through the Square Windowwas the third of her collections to be nominated for the T SEliot award.

Reviewing Through the Square Windowin The Irish Timesearlier this year, poet and critic Fiona Sampson called it the work of a “confident, inquiring intelligence that makes itself felt on every page”.

This is the fifth year of the award which has twice been awarded to Derek Mahon, for Life on Earthlast year and for Harbour Lightsin 2005. Seamus Heaney won it for District and Circle, Harry Clifton for Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks 1994-2004, and Dorothy Molly for her posthumously published collection Hare Soup.

The judges for 2010 Irish TimesPoetry Now Award were poet and translator John F Deane; poet Alan Gillis, who teaches in Edinburgh University; and academic and literary critic Maria Johnstone.

The international poetry festival continues in the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire today and tomorrow with events including readings this evening by Paul Muldoon, Anne Stevenson and Homer Aridjis, and on Sunday readings by John F Deane, John Burnside and Sylva Fischerova.