'The Irish Times' Poetry Now shortlist


AWARD SHORTLIST:The shortlist for this year's Irish Times Poetry Now award is announced today.  It includes the latest books by a number of prominent Irish poets, as well as a debut collection. The five selected titles are: Secular Eden - Paris Notebooks 1994-2004by Harry Clifton, the author's first new full collection since 1994; Out of Breathby Eamon Grennan; Reality Checkby Dennis O'Driscoll, Black Moonby Matthew Sweeney and The Boy in the Ring, by Dave Lordan, which is the poet's first collection.

THE WINNER of the €5,000 award will be announced during the DLR International Poetry Festival, which will take place in Dún Laoghaire from April 3rd-6th. This is the fourth year of the award, which was won last year by Séamus Heaney for District and Circle.

The other previous winners were Derek Mahon for Harbour Lightsand Dorothy Molloy, who won the inaugural prize for her posthumously published collection Hare Soup.

The judges for the award are Philip Coleman, director of the MPhil in Literatures of the Americas in Trinity College, Dublin and author of a recent study of the American poet John Berryman; poet and translator Sasha Dugdale, author of two collections, The Estateand Notebook, which won an Eric Gregory Award, and the novelist, poet and short-story writer William Wall, whose novel This is the Countrywas longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2005.

Secular Eden - Paris Notebooks 1994-2004,By Harry Clifton (Wake Forest University Press)

Harry Clifton has lived in Africa and Asia and more recently in Europe. He has published several collections of poems, including The Liberal Cage, The Desert Route: Selected Poemsand Night Train Through the Brenner, which was his last collection, published in 1994. He has received the Patrick Kavanagh Award and was an international fellow at the University of Iowa. He teaches at University College, Dublin.

Out of Breath,By Eamon Grennan (Gallery Press)

Eamon Grennan divides his time between the US, where he taught for many years at Vassar College, and the west of Ireland. He continues to teach at New York University and Columbia University. Among his eight collections of poetry are Selected and New Poems, Still Life with Waterfall, which won the Lenore Marshall Prize for Poetry, and The Quick of It. He has also published books of essays and translations.

The Boy in the Ring,By Dave Lordan (Salmon Poetry Press)

Dave Lordan took an MPhil in creative writing at Trinity College, Dublin in 2001. He was a winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2005 and a recipient of an Arts Council bursary in 2004. The Boy in the Ringis his debut collection.

Reality Check,By Dennis O'Driscoll (Anvil Press Poetry)

Dennis O'Driscoll's previous collections include Weather Permitting, Exemplary Damagesand N ew and Selected Poems. He is also the author of a book of essays and reviews, Troubled Thoughts, Majestic Dreamsand the editor of The Bloodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations.

He was a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award in 1999, received the E M Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2005 and the O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry in 2006. He is a member of Aosdána.

Black Moon,By Matthew Sweeney (Cape Poetry)

Matthew Sweeney has written children's fiction as well as poetry. His previous collections include Blue Shoes, The Bridal Suite, A Smell of Fish, Sanctuaryand Selected Poems. He was the editor of the New Faber Book of Children's Verse. He has won the Prudence Farmer and Cholmondeley awards. Black Moon was also nominated for the TS Eliot Prize.