First Collection Poetry Prize


Winner Announced

THE SEAMUS HEANEY CENTRE FOR POETRY
PRIZE FOR FIRST FULL COLLECTION 2015
Supported by Glucksman Ireland House, 
New York University

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast, is delighted to announce the winner of the fifth Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry.

The Prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best first collection published in the UK or Ireland in the preceding year and is awarded with support from Glucksman Ireland House at New York University. Glucksman Ireland House, the Center for Irish and Irish-American Studies at NYU supports the award through generous funding in honour of Thomas Quinlan, a third generation Irish-American teacher and educator.

The prize was awarded at the Student Reading of the Poetry Summer School which took place Thursday, 26 June. 

The winner of this year’s Prize is 
FIONA BENSON
for her book
Bright Travellers 
(Cape Poetry)

The Seamus Heaney Prize for Poetry for 2015 was a cheque for £5,000. In addition the winner is invited to read at Glucksman Ireland House at New York University for the fourth annual Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry, provided with travel, accommodation, and an honorarium.   The lecture takes place in the autumn 2015.

The Chairman of the judges this year was Professor Ciaran Carson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. His fellow judges were Dr Alan Gillis and Dr Miriam Gamble.

The chair of the judges said of the competition, “My colleagues Miriam Gamble, Alan Gillis and I were most impressed by the strikingly high standard of this year’s entries. We agreed that the shortlist of five could easily have been extended by another two or three books without any significant drop in quality. These are books of originality, flourish, vernacular energy, playful erudition, and formal skill; in their very different approaches they express a searching communal and political engagement, blended with an intensely expressed individuality. We are delighted that the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize should have attracted such a range of seriously intelligent and formally accomplished voices; and we are sure that Seamus himself, always such a generous champion of emerging talent, would be equally delighted were he with us now. 

‘It was a difficult and delicate business to choose an outright winner from such a strong field. But all three judges were unanimous that Fiona Benson deserved the prize for her strikingly assured debut, Bright Travellers. The language shines through in its maturity and finesse, always particular in its renditions of bodily process or spiritual possibility, shimmering alternately with promise and threat. This is a book of quiet, feisty conviction, and we were convinced by it. ‘

The Seamus Heaney Centre Prize was inaugurated to celebrate the work of the Heaney Centre, and to honour its founding poet.  The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry is a focal point for creativity in Ireland and is recognised as an international centre of creative and research excellence in the field of literature. Central to the Centre’s ethos is the encouragement of emerging talent.

The shortlisted runners-up were:

Caoilinn Hughes, Gathering Evidence (Carcanet)

Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Terror (Faber and Faber)

Vidyan Ravinthiran, Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe)

Helen Tookey, Missel-Child (Carcanet)

Mrs Gerry Hellawell, email: g.hellawell@qub.ac.uk,
tel: +44 (0)2890971070.

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Shortlist Announced

THE SEAMUS HEANEY CENTRE FOR POETRY
PRIZE FOR FIRST FULL COLLECTION 2015
Supported by Glucksman Ireland House, New York University

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast, is delighted to announce the shortlist for the sixth Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry.   The Prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best first collection published in the UK or Ireland in the preceding year.

The shortlist for this year’s Prize is:

Fiona Benson, Bright Travellers (Cape Poetry)

Caoilinn Hughes, Gathering Evidence (Carcanet)

Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Terror (Faber and Faber)

Vidyan Ravinthiran, Grun-tu-molani (Bloodaxe)

Helen Tookey, Missel-Child (Carcanet)

The winner will be announced during the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Summer School, 22-26 June 2015.   The Seamus Heaney Prize for Poetry for 2015 will be £5,000. In addition the winner will be invited to read at Glucksman Ireland House at New York University for the annual Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry, provided with travel, accommodation, and an honorarium.   (http://irelandhouse.fas.nyu.edu/page/home).

About Glucksman Ireland House

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, Glucksman Ireland House is New York University's Center for Irish and Irish-American Studies and one of the top-ranked academic Irish Studies programs in the United States. Through innovative undergraduate and graduate academic curricula and extensive public programming, it provides access to the best in Irish and Irish-American culture. With faculty in Irish and Irish-American literature, history, music, language, and cultural studies, Glucksman Ireland House NYU provides its students and the community with an integrated approach to understanding the arts and humanities that represent Ireland and Irish-America’s past, present, and future.

Further Information

For further information, contact Anne Solari at Glucksman Ireland House NYU at anne.solari@nyu.edu or +1 (212) 998-3952; or, Mrs Gerry Hellawell at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queens University, Belfast, at g.hellawell@qub.ac.uk or +44(0)2890971070

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Poetry Prize Form and Terms and Conditions 2015

THE SEAMUS HEANEY CENTRE FOR POETRY
PRIZE FOR FIRST FULL COLLECTION 2015
Supported by Glucksman Ireland House, New York University

*** Prize increased to £5000 ***

Calling all poets and publishers.  Did you have a first collection published between 1 January  and 31 December 2014?  Yes? Read on.

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry invites submissions for the Heaney Centre Prize for First Full Collection 2015. 

We are grateful for the continued support from Glucksman Ireland House, New York University.  Located in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village, Glucksman Ireland House is the centre for Irish Studies at New York University.  Glucksman Ireland House also organise weekly public events during the academic year, as well as a monthly traditional Irish music series. See their website http://irelandhouse.fas.nyu.edu/page/home

The prize is £5000 and in addition the winner will be invited to give a reading at the Glucksman Ireland House in New York, including travel expenses, three nights’ accommodation and an honorarium of $1000. 

The deadline for entries is Monday 20 April 2015Application Form and Terms and Conditions are available here.

Entry forms and terms and conditions can be downloaded from the Seamus Heaney Centre website at www.qub.ac.uk/heaneycentre and follow the link to Poetry Prize 2015.

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Previous winners of the Poetry Prize