Jane Clarke & Miriam Gamble shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize

Jane Clarke & Miriam Gamble shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize

 
 
For the second year running, two of the three titles shortlisted for Ireland's richest poetry award, the Pigott Poetry Prize, are published by UK publisher Bloodaxe Books.
 
When the Tree Falls by Jane Clarke and What Planet by Miriam Gamble have been shortlisted for the 2020 Pigott Poetry Prize.  The Award is worth €10,000 to the winner and €1,000 to each runner-up.  The third title on the shortlist is Pigeon Songs by Eoghan Walls.  Last year's three-strong shortlist included Leanne O'Sullivan's A Quarter of an Hour and Ailbhe Darcy's Insistence, the latter going on to be named winner.
 
County Wicklow-based Jane Clarke's second full-length collection When the Tree Falls was shortlisted for two other Irish poetry prizes - the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the Farmgate Café National Poetry Award 2020.  It was also longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize 2020, the annual award for a distinguished work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, evoking the spirit of a place. Her debut collection The River was the first poetry book ever to be shortlisted for this award.
 
What Planet is the third collection by Edinburgh-based Northern Irish poet Miriam Gamble. She reads and introduces six poems from What Planet in a film posted on her title page.  Her first book-length collection, The Squirrels Are Dead (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), won her a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. This was followed by her 2014 collection Pirate Music.
 
Adjudicator and poet Ian McMillan selected the shortlist of three on behalf of Listowel Writers’ Week. He writes:

“In terrible and turbulent times poetry can offer us a map out of lockdown and social distancing. Judging the competition reminded me of the power of language to enchant, to stimulate and to comfort. So many Irish poets are working at the height of their powers, wrestling with language to make it fit the world we live in, and it’s been marvellous to be part of that ongoing endeavour.”
 
The winner of the Pigott Poetry Prize will be announced online on 27 May 2020.
 
Full details of the award are on Listowel Writers' Week's website here.
 
Jane Clarke was interviewed on RTE Radio 1's Arena on 19 May. She read poems from and talked about her shortlisted collection. Listen here.
 
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Jane Clarke presented a half-hour feature The Miners’ Way for BBC Radio 4. This first aired on Sunday 3 May 2020, and was chosen for Radio 4's Pick of the Week the same day. It featured a poem from When the Tree Falls, along with a new sequence of poems written especially for the programme. More here: https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/news?articleid=1025

[13 May 2020]


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