'The Irish Times' Poetry Now shortlist announced


POETRY: The Irish Timesshortlist

Ciaran Carson


(The Gallery Press)

Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast where he is professor of poetry and director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast. His books of poems include The Irish for No, Belfast Confetti, First Language, The Twelfth of Never and Breaking News. He is a past winner of The Irish TimesAward for Poetry, the T S Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize. For All We Knowwas also shortlisted for this year’s T S Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry Award. His Collected Poems was published last year.

ONE OF Ireland’s most senior poets, Pearse Hutchinson, is among the five writers shortlisted for The Irish TimesPoetry Now Award for 2008, announced today. He is nominated for his most recent collection, At Least For A While.

The other poets on the shortlist are Colette Bryce for Self-Portrait in the Dark,Ciaran Carson for For All We Know,Leontia Flynn for Drivesand Derek Mahon for Life on Earth.

The winner of the €5,000 prize will be announced during the Poetry Now festival which takes place in Dún Laoghaire on March 26th-29th. Last year’s winner of the award, Harry Clifton, is among the poets reading at this year’s festival. Clifton won for his collection, Secular Eden: Paris Notebook1994-2004. Other previous winners include Seamus Heaney (for District and Circle) and Derek Mahon (for Harbour Lights). Dorothy Molloy won the inaugural prize for her posthumously published collection Hare Soupin 2004.

The award judges are poet, critic, and playwright, Seán O’Brien, Kit Fryatt who is a lecturer in English at Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin, and Joseph Woods, poet and director of Poetry Ireland.

Derek Mahon


(The Gallery Press )

Derek Mahon was born in Belfast in 1941, and has held journalistic and academic appointments in London and New York where he also taught at Barnard and NYU. A member of Aosdána and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has received numerous awards, Lannan and Guggenheim Fellowships and the David Cohen Prize for Literature in recognition of his ‘lifetime’s achievement’. Publications include The Hudson Letter (1995), The Yellow Book (1997), Harbour Lights, Adaptations (2006)and Collected Poems

Colette Byrce


(Picador Poetry)

Colette Bryce was born in Derry in 1970 and emigrated to England when she was eighteen. She has lived in London, Spain and Scotland and is currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne where she works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of three previous collections, The Heel of Bernadette, The Full Indian Rope Trickand The Observations of Aleksandr Svetlov.

Pearse Hutchinson


(The Gallery Press)

Pearse Hutchinson was born in Glasgow in 1927 of Irish parents and moved to Dublin in 1932. He has published two collections of poems in Irish Faoistin Bhacach and Le Cead na Gréine. Books from The Gallery Press which has been publishing his work since 1972, include Watching the Morning Grow, Climbing the Light, The Soul that Kissed the Body (Selected Poemsin Irish with translations into English), Barnsley Main Seam, Collected Poemsand Done Into English (Collected Translations). He is a member of Aosdána.

Leontia Flynn


(Cape Poetry )

Leontia Flynn was born in 1974 and lives in Belfast. Her first book, These Days,won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast.


Kit Fryatt
is a lecturer in English at Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin. Her book on Austin Clarke is forthcoming this year. She has lectured at the Yeats International Summer School and writes for a number of British and Irish journals. She is co-curator of the Wurm im Apfel poetry reading series at the Monster Truck Gallery in Dublin.

Seán O’Brienis a poet, critic, playwright, broadcaster, anthologist and editor. He is professor of creative writing at Newcastle University, a vice president of the UK’s Poetry Society, fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and 2007 recipient of the Northern Rock Foundation Writer’s Award. His selected poems, Cousin Coat: Selected Poems 1976-2001was published in 2002. His six individual poetry collections have all won awards, most recently The Drowned Book, which won both the 2007 Forward and T S Eliot Prizes.

Joseph Woodsis a poet and director of Poetry Ireland. A winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, his two collections, Sailing to Hokkaido (2001)and Bearings(2005) are both published by the Worple Press, UK. In 2007 he co-edited Our Shared Japan(Dedalus Press) an anthology of contemporary Irish poetry concerning Japan.