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Rachael Boast
Rachael Boast

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 third 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, to support the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry.     Glucksman Ireland House, the Center for Irish and Irish-American Studies at NYU, will support the award for the next five years through generous funding in honour of Thomas Quinlan, a third generation Irish-American teacher and educator.

The Seamus Heaney Prize for Poetry for 2012 will be £1,000. In addition the winner will be invited to read at Glucksman Ireland House at New York University for the first annual Thomas Quinlan Lecture in Poetry, provided with travel, accommodation, and an honorarium. The first Quinlan Lecture is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2012.   

The winner of this year’s Prize is Rachel Boast for her book Sidereal (Picador Poetry).

The Chairman of the judges for this year’s prize was Frank Ormsby, poet and co-editor of the The Yellow Nib, the journal of the Seamus Heaney Centre. His fellow judges were Professor Ciaran Carson, Director of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, and Connie Voisine, poet and Fulbright Scholar at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Frank Ormsby says of the collection: ‘The resonant, robust lyrics and sequences in this beguiling collection are subtly weighted and consistently engaging. The world they create is affecting in its intensity and vibrant in its forms and images, drawing the reader in time after time. This is poetry  that sets up “so bright a mirror/the room moves towards 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.

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

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