Leanne O'Sullivan Wins Inaugural Farmgate Café National Poetry Award

Leanne O'Sullivan Wins Inaugural Farmgate Café National Poetry Award


Cork poet Leanne O’Sullivan has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Farmgate Café National Poetry Award for her fourth collection A Quarter of an Hour.  Both the winner and list of six highly commended titles were announced at a ceremony in Cork on the evening of Tuesday 19 March 2019 on the opening night of the Cork International Poetry Festival.  

This new award of €2,000 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 first year are Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Clíona Ní Ríordáin and Maurice Riordan. 

Prize judge Maurice Riordan said of the winning title:

“Leanne O’Sullivan is possessed of a haunting lyric voice which, in A Quarter of an Hour, draws us into an area of surface tension where personal crisis – a husband stricken and then recovering from a deadly illness – interacts with our experience of the non-human. Dawn, the poem that gives the book its particular title and focus, captures in its evocation of the dawning world the ‘here to not here’ of becoming; and as readers we are given access throughout to that dimension between the mundane and the mythic that normally eludes articulation, but here finds expression in limpid, precise poems. At once tender, exploratory and grace-filled, this finely orchestrated collection attests to the wholeness of natural life and, resonant with folkloric wisdom, it re-awakens the spirit to a fresh sense of the mystery and precariousness of our world. It is an astonishing achievement.”

Leanne O’Sullivan said: “I’m honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Farmgate Market Café National Poetry Award, particularly for this book which means so much to me. I’m grateful to the judges for choosing that book and to Kay and Rebecca of the Farmgate for all the support they have shown poetry down through the years.”

The award winner was announced in The Irish Times here.

A Quarter of an Hour was also on the shortlist for the Irish Times Poetry Now, along with fellow Bloodaxe poet Ailbhe Darcy's second collection Insistence



For links to interviews with Leanne O'Sullivan, plus reviews & books of the year choices, see: https://www.bloodaxebooks.com/news?articleid=778

[21 March 2019]

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