Poetry Prize 2023
We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2023 Seamus Heaney Poetry Prize for a First Collection, supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies. The winner will be announced during the Seamus Heaney Centre’s annual Poetry Summer School, at the Award Night readings in June 2023.
"We had an outstanding group of submissions for the Heaney prize this year, but in the end the shortlist was easy to assemble. These five debuts are all outstanding in different ways and speak to the depth and breadth of contemporary poetry."- Nick Laird, Seamus Heaney Professor of Poetry at Queen's, and judge of the Poetry Prize
The Seamus Heaney Professor of Poetry Nick Laird, is joined this year by our colleagues in Poetry Stephen Sexton, and Leontia Flynn.
Leontia Flynn is a poet from Northern Ireland. Her first collection, These Days (2004), won the Forward Poetry Prize (Best First Collection of the Year), and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Poetry Award. In the same year, she was named as one of the Poetry Book Society's 'Next Generation' poets. Her collections Profit and Loss (2011) and The Radio (2017) were both shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Her fifth collection Taking Liberties is forthcoming with Jonathan Cape in 2023. She teaches poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's.
Nick Laird is a poet, novelist, screenwriter, and critic from Northern Ireland. He is the author of four poetry collections, including Feel Free (2019) and Go Giants (2013), and the children's book Weirdo (2021), written in collaboration with his wife Zadie Smith. Awards include the Betty Rask Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2022 for Up Late, an elegy for his father. A new collection is forthcoming in 2023. He holds the Seamus Heaney Chair of Poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s.
Stephen Sexton is a poet. His debut collection If All the World and Love Were Young (Penguin, 2019) won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the E.M. Forster Prize, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the John Pollard Poetry Prize. Other awards include the UK National Poetry Competition, and an Eric Gregory Award. His second collection Cheryl's Destinies (Penguin, 2021) was shortlisted for the Forward Best Collection Prize. Stephen teaches poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s.