Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award

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The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is an Irish poetry award for a collection of poems by an author who has not previously been published in collected form. It is confined to poets born on the island of Ireland, or of Irish nationality, or a long-term resident of Ireland. It is based on an open competition whose closing date is in July each year. The award was founded by the Patrick Kavanagh Society in 1971 to commemorate the poet.

Competition secretaries were Martin Hanratty (1971–72), Tom Quinn (1973–83), Magdalene Quinn (1984–2000), Daigh Quinn (2001–02), and Rosaleen Kearney (2003 onwards). Since 2009 the Judge of the Award and President of the Society has been the poet, novelist and screenwriter Brian Lynch (see Past judges have included Brendan Kennelly, John Montague, Gerald Dawe, Thomas McCarthy, Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Conor O'Callaghan, Vona Groarke, Moya Cannon, and Gabriel Rosenstock. It is now run by the society in conjunction with the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen.[1]

From 2011, the award is presented at the end of September during the annual Kavanagh Weekend at the Patrick Kavanagh Centre.

Winners List[edit]


  • 1971 Sean Clarkin Wexford based poet his book Without Frenzy was published in 1974.[2]
  • 1973 Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Dublin based poet and critic. She is a member of Aosdána Her poetry books include Acts and Monuments (1973), Site of Ambush (1975), The Second Voyage (1977), Cork (1981), The Rose Geranium (1981), The Magdalene Sermon (1989), The Brazen Serpent (1994), The Girl Who Married the Reindeer (2001) Selected Poems (2008)and The Sun-fish (2009).[3][4]
  • 1974 Paul Durcan Dublin based poet, who is a member of Aosdána. His books include Endsville [with Brian Lynch] (1967), O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor (1975), Sam's Cross (1978), Teresa's Bar (1976), Jesus, Break his Fall (1980), Ark of the North (1982), The Selected Paul Durcan edited by Edna Longley (1982), Jumping the Train Tracks with Angela (1983), The Berlin Wall Café (1985), Going Home to Russia (1987), In the Land of Punt (with Gene Lambert 1989), Jesus and Angela (1998), Daddy, Daddy (1990); Crazy About Women (1991), A Snail in My Prime: New and Selected Poems, (1993), Give Me Your Hand (1994), Christmas Day (1997), Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil (1999), Cries of an Irish Caveman (2001), The Art of Life ( 2004) and The Laughter of Mothers (2007), Life Is a Dream: 40 Years Reading Poems 1967–2007(2009)and Praise In Which I Live And Move And Have My Being (2012).[5][6][7]
  • 1975 John Ennis Waterford based poet- his books include Night on Hibernia (1976), Dolmen Hill (1977), A Drink of Spring (1979), The Burren Days (1985), Arboretum (1990), In a Greener Shade (1991), Down in the Deeper Helicon (1994), Telling the Bees (1995), Selected Poems (1996), Tráithníní (2000) and Near St Mullins (2002).[8][9]
  • 1976 Aidan Carl Matthews Dublin based poet,author and playwright. His poetry books include Windfalls (1977), Minding Ruth (1983); and According to the Small Hours (1998). His plays are The Diamond Body, Entrance, Exit and Communion.His story collections are Adventures in a Bathyscope (1988), and Lipstick on the Host (1992) and his novel, Muesli at Midnight (1990).[10][11]
  • 1977 Thomas McCarthy Cork based poet and Aosdána member. His poetry works include The First Convention (1978), The Sorrow Garden1 (1981), The Non-Aligned Storyteller (1984), Seven Winters in Paris (1989), The Lost Province (1996) Mr Dineen's Careful Parade: New and Selected Poems (1999), Merchant Prince (2005), and The Last Geraldine Officer (2009). His novels are Without Power (1990), Asya and Christine (1993) and the non fiction The Garden of Remembrances (1998)[12]
  • 1978 Rory Brennan Dublin based poet his works include The Sea on Fire (1978), The Walking Wounded (1985), and The Old in Raphallo (1996).[13]
  • 1979 Michael Coady Carrick-on-Suir based poet and member of Aosdána his books include Two for a Woman . Three for a Man (1980) Oven Lane (1987). All Souls (1998) One Another (2003) and Going By Water (2009).


  • 1980 Nuala Archer Cleveland based poet her books include Whale on the Line (1981), Two Shores:Poems by Medbh McGuckian and Nuala Archer (1989), The Hour of Pan/Amá (1992), From a Mobile Home (1995) Inch Aeons (2006)[14]
  • 1981 Harry Clifton Dublin based poet and novelist is a member of Aosdána. His poetry books include he Walls of Carthage (1977), Office of the Salt Merchant (1979), Comparative Lives (1982), The Liberal Cage(1988), Night Train through the Brenner (T1996), The Desert Route Selected Poems 1973–1988 (1992), God in France (2003); Secular Eden: Paris Notebooks, 1994–2004 (2007)and The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass (2012). His novels include On the Spine of Italy (1999)and collected stories Berkeley’s Telephone (2000).[15]
  • 1982 Peter Sirr Dublin based poet who is a member of Aosdána. His books include Marginal Zones (1984); Talk, Talk (1987), Ways of Falling (1991), The Ledger of Fruitful Exchange (2000), Bring Everything (2000) Nonetheless (2004) Selected Poems 1982–2004 (2004)[16] and The Thing Is (2009)
  • 1983 Greg Delanty Vermont based poet his books include Cast in the Fire (1986), * Southward (1992), American Wake (1995), The Hellbox (1998), The Blind Stitch (2002), Collected Poems 1986–2006 (2006) The Ship of Birth (2007)and co-edited The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation (2010).
  • 1984 Tom O'Malley Navan based poet his poetry book is Journey Backward (1988)
  • 1985 Roz Cowman Cork based poet her collection is The Goose Herd (1989).[17]
  • 1986 Padraig Rooney His poetry books are in the Bonsai Garden (1988, The Escape Artist(2006) and The Fever Wards (2010). His novel is Oasis (1982).
  • 1987 Anthony Glavin (decd 2006) was a Poet and Music professor, His poetry book The Wrong Side of the Alps was published in 1989.
  • 1988 Angela Greene (decd.) was a poet whose poetry book Silence and the Blue Night was published in 1993.
  • 1989 Pat Boran Dublin based poet and author, who is a member of Aosdána. His poetry books includes The Unwound Clock (1990), History and Promise (1990), Familiar Things (1993), The Shape of Water (1996), As the Hand, the Glove (2001), New and Selected Poems (2007) and The Next Life (2012. His prose books are All the Way from China (1998), Strange Bedfellows (1991,)A Short History of Dublin (2000) and The Portable Creative Writing Workshop (2005).


  • 1990 Sinéad Morrissey Belfast based poet. Her books include There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2001), The State of the Prisons (2005), Through the Square Window (2009), and Parallax (2013).
  • 1991 Sheila O'Hagan Dublin based poet. Her works include Peacock's Eye (1992), The Troubled House (1995) and Along the Liffey: Poems & Short Stories (2009)[18]
  • 1992 Aine Millar Dublin based poet. Her collection Goldfish in a Baby Bath was published in 1994.[19]
  • 1993 Conor O'Callaghan Manchester based poet. His poetry books include The History of Rain (1993), Seatown (1999), Fiction (2005), The Sun King (2013) and the novel Red Mist: Roy Keane and the Football Civil War (2004) [20]
  • 1994 Celia de Fréine Dublin based poet and dramatist who writes primarily in the Irish language. Her poetry book in English is Scarecrows at Newtownards (2005) and her poetry collections in Irish are Faoi Chabáistí is Ríonacha (Of Cabbages and Queens) (2001)and Fiacha Fola (Blood Debts) (2004). Her plays include Nara Turas é in Aistear (That the journey may not have been in vain (2000), Anraith Neantóige (Nettle Soup) (2004) and Cóirín na dTonn (Corinne of the Waves)(2004).[21]
  • 1995 William Wall Cork based poet and author. His poetry books are Mathematics And Other Poems (1997), Fahrenheit Says Nothing To Me (2004) and Ghost Estate (2011) His novels include Alice Falling 2000), Minding Children (2001), The Map of Tenderness (2003) and This Is The Country (2005). His short story collection is No Paradiso (2006).[22]
  • 1996 Bill Tinley Maynooth based poet his book is Grace (2001).
  • 1997 Fr. Michael McCarthy Durham based priest and poet. His book Birds' Nests and Other Poems was published in 2003[23] and his second collection, At the Races, was published in 2009.[24]
  • 1998 Carmel Fitzsimons London based poet
  • 1999 Eibhlin nic Eochaidh Leitrim based poet


  • 2000 Joseph Woods Dublin based poet and Director of Poetry Ireland 2001-13. His books are Sailing to Hokkaido (2001), Bearings (2005), Cargo (2011) and was co-editor of Our Shared Japan (2007)[25]
  • 2001 Ann Leahy Dublin based her collection is The Woman who Lived Her Life Backwards[26] (2008)
  • 2002 Alice Lyons Roscommon based, poet and artist, her collection is Staircase Poems (2006)[27]
  • 2003 Manus McManus Dublin based poet and film writer/director.
  • 2004 Joseph HorganCork based poet His poetry collections are Slipping Letters Beneath the Sea (2008), A Song at Your Backdoor (2010) and An Unscheduled Life (2012[28]
  • 2005 Dave Lordan Greystones based, his poetry collections are The Boy in the Ring ((2008),[29] Invitation to a Sacrifice (2010)[30] and Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains (2015).[31]
  • 2006 Enda Coyle-Greene Skerries based poet her collections are Snow Negatives (2007) and Map of the Last (2013).[32]
  • 2007 Conor Carville Reading based poet, his first collection Harms Way was published in 2013.[33]
  • 2008 Geraldine Mitchell Mayo based poet her collections are World Without Maps (2011) and Of Birds and Bones (2014). Other publications include two novels for young people, Welcoming the French (1992); and Escape to the West (1994); and a biography of Muriel Gahan, Deeds Not Words (1997).[34]
  • 2009 Martin Dyar Dublin and Mayo based poet, his first collection Maiden Names was published in 2012.


  • 2010 Connie Roberts, a Co. Offaly native, emigrated to the United States in 1983. Her first collection Little Witness was published in 2015.
  • 2011 Helena Nolan, Kilkenny-born, working in Dublin.
  • 2012 Caoilinn Hughes – Galway-born writer, currently working at Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Her first collection, Gathering Evidence (Carcanet 2014), won The Irish Times Strong/Shine Award 2015.
  • 2013 Rafiq Kathwari, lives in Omeath, Co. Louth. He was born in Kashmir and spent most of his adult life in the U.S. . His collection In Another Country was published in 2015.
  • 2014 John Fitzgerald lives in Co, Cork and is the Librarian at University College Cork.
  • 2015 John Mee lives in Cork and lectures law at University College Cork.
  • 2016 Laurence O’Dwyer born in Tipperary, he is a graduate of University College Cork and holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin.

Anthology of Award winners[edit]

Dancing with Kitty Stobling: Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award Winners, 1971–2003 is a selection of poems edited by Antoinette Quinn and was published by Liliput Press in 2004


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  2. ^ "Sean Clarkin". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "WFU | Wake Forest University Press". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Paul Durcan". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Paul Durcan". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Paul Durcan Poetry Irish culture and customs – World Cultures European". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "John Ennis". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "John Ennis". Dedalus Press. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  10. ^ "Aidan Carl Matthews". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Irish Playography". Irish Playography. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  12. ^ "Thomas McCarthy". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  13. ^ "Rory Brennan". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "Nuala Archer". Ricorso. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  15. ^ "Harry Clifton". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  16. ^ "Peter Sirr". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  17. ^ "Roz Cowman". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  18. ^ "Sheila O'Hagan". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  19. ^ [1] Archived 4 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "Conor O&rsquoCallaghan". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  21. ^ "Celia de Fréine – Irish Writer". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  22. ^ "William Wall". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  23. ^ "books and poetry : Birds' nests and metanoia". not too much. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Joseph Woods". Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  26. ^ "Women Rule Writer: Arlen House Poetry Books Launch". 3 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  27. ^ "Alice Lyons – poetry and visual art". 15 September 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  28. ^ "Joseph Horgan". Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  29. ^ Salmon Publishing Ltd. "The Boy in the Ring, Poems by Dave Lordan". Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  30. ^ Salmon Publishing Ltd. "Invitation to a sacrifice,". Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  31. ^ McAuliffe, John (16 May 2015). "Poetry reviews: Dermot Healy, Dennis O’Driscoll, Dave Lordan, Kate Newmann". Irish Times. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  32. ^ "Enda Coyle-Greene". Dedalus Press. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  33. ^ "Conor Carville". Dedalus Press. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  34. ^ "Mitchell, Geraldine". Irish writers online. Retrieved 15 October 2014.