Jane Clarke longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize

Jane Clarke longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize

 
Jane Clarke's second full-length collection When the Tree Falls has been longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2020, the annual award of £10,000 for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place.  The longlist was announced on 26 March, with the shortlist due on Tuesday 20 April. The winner will be announced on Monday 4 May 2020.
 
This year’s judges are Peter Frankopan (Chair), Pascale Petit and Evie Wyld. Pascale Petit's 7th collection Mama Amazonica was the first poetry collection to win the award in 2018.  Jane Clarke's debut The River was the first poetry collection ever to be shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize back in 2016.
 
Jane Clarke comments:
 
'When the Tree Falls is primarily inspired by my father's final illness and death; the farm I grew up on and that my father worked all his life gave me the language and imagery to write about love and loss.'
 
The full longlist can be seen on the Royal Society of Literature's website here.  The longlist includes fellow Bloodaxe poet Tishani Doshi's novel Small Days and Nights (Bloomsbury).

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When the Tree Falls was on the shortlists for two national Irish poetry prizes - the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Farmgate Café National Poetry Award 2020.  Jane was the only poet on the shortlist for both prizes, and had already been engaged to give readings at the festivals at which the prizes were due to be announced.  Sadly, both of these festivals have now been cancelled.
 
The Irish Times Poetry Now Award shortlist was published in The Irish Times of 8 February.  The winner of the €2,000 prize will be announced on Saturday 28 March 2020.
 
This year’s judges are poet Colette Bryce, editor of Poetry Ireland Review; Scottish poet and novelist Jackie Kay, who has been Scotland’s national poet laureate since 2016 and is chancellor of the University of Salford; and anthologist, broadcaster and author of poetry text books for students, Niall MacMonagle. 
 
The winner of the Farmgate Café National Poetry Award was due to be announced at the opening of the Cork International Poetry Festival on Tuesday 24 March 2020. This award of €2,000 is for the best original collection of poems written by a poet living in Ireland, published in English, in the previous calendar year.  The judges for this second year are Ailbhe Darcy, Thomas Dillon Redshaw and Billy Ramsell.  
 
Details of the five-strong shortlist are in The Irish Times here.
 
Details of the five-book shortlist for the Farmgate Café National Poetry Award are on Munster Literature Centre's website here.  
 
The winner of the inaugural Farmgate Café Award last year was Bloodaxe's Leanne O'Sullivan for her fourth collection A Quarter of an Hour.  A film of Leanne's acceptance speech is on our news page here.
 
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Jane Clarke's work was used as part of the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture launch celebrations on 5 February 2020.  Lines from her poem 'The Suck' from her acclaimed debut collection The River feature on a public sculpture created for the week-long Fire Tour that launched Galway 2020.  Full story and photo on our news pages here.
 
Reviews, features, interviews and books of the year choices for When the Tree Falls are on our news page here.

[26 March 2020]


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