Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award

Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award

The Patrick Kavanagh Award is for emerging poets currently living in Ireland or with Irish heritage.

Entrants are asked to submit 20 poems for consideration having not yet published a collection of work. Typically, the award opens early summer in a given year with the award presentation taking place as part of the Patrick Kavanagh Weekend on the last weekend in September.

In 2021 the award celebrated 50 years since it’s inauguration by the Patrick Kavanagh Society. It captures a diverse range of poetic voices at a time of transformative change in Ireland.  Recipients of the award include Eiléan Ní ChuIleanáin, Paul Durcan, Pat Boran and Sinead Morrisey amongst others. In 2021 Jerm Curtain received the award for his collection ‘The Drowned City’.

2022 Award Details and Guidelines

Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award Recipients

  • 1971   Clarkin Sean
  • 1972   NO COMPETITION
  • 1973   Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
  • 1974   Paul Durcan
  • 1975   John Ennis
  • 1976   Aidan Carl Matthews
  • 1977   Thomas McCarthy
  • 1978   Rory Brennan
  • 1979   Michael Coady
  • 1980   Nuala Archer
  • 1981   Harry Clifton
  • 1982   Peter Sirr
  • 1983   Greg Delanty
  • 1984   Tom O'Malley
  • 1985   Roz Cowman
  • 1986   Padraig Rooney
  • 1987   Anthony Glavin
  • 1988   Angela Green
  • 1989   Pat Boran
  • 1990   Sinead Morrissey
  • 1991   Sheila O'Hagan
  • 1992   Aine Millar
  • 1993   Conor O'Callaghan
  • 1994   Celia de Fréine
  • 1995   William Wall
  • 1996   Bill Tinley
  • 1997   Fr Michael McCarthy
  • 1998   Carmel Fitzsimons
  • 1999   Eibhlin Nic Eochaidh
  • 2000   Joseph Woods
  • 2001   Ann Leahy
  • 2002   Alice Lyons
  • 2003   Manus McManus
  • 2004   Joseph Horgan
  • 2005   Dave Lordan
  • 2006   Enda Coyle-Green
  • 2007   Conor Carville
  • 2008   Geraldine Mitchell
  • 2009   Martin Dyar
  • 2010   Connie Roberts
  • 2011   Helena Nolan
  • 2012   Caoilinn Hughes
  • 2013   Rafiq Kathwari
  • 2014   John Fitzgerald
  • 2015   John Mee
  • 2016   Laurance O'Dwyer
  • 2017   Ruth Timmons
  • 2018   Conor Cleary
  • 2019   Scott McKendry
  • 2020   NO COMPETITION
  • 2021   Jerm Curtin
Clarkin Sean

Clarkin Sean

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

NO COMPETITION

NO COMPETITION

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Paul Durcan

Paul Durcan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

John Ennis

John Ennis

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Aidan Carl Matthews

Aidan Carl Matthews

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Thomas McCarthy

Thomas McCarthy

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Rory Brennan

Rory Brennan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Michael Coady

Michael Coady

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Nuala Archer

Nuala Archer

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Harry Clifton

Harry Clifton

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Peter Sirr

Peter Sirr

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Greg Delanty

Greg Delanty

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Tom O'Malley

Tom O'Malley

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Roz Cowman

Roz Cowman

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Padraig Rooney

Padraig Rooney

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Anthony Glavin

Anthony Glavin

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Angela Green

Angela Green

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Pat Boran

Pat Boran

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Sinead Morrissey

Sinead Morrissey

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Sheila O'Hagan

Sheila O'Hagan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

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Aine Millar

Aine Millar

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Conor O'Callaghan

Conor O'Callaghan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Celia de Fréine

Celia de Fréine

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

William Wall

William Wall

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Bill Tinley

Bill Tinley

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

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Fr Michael McCarthy

Fr Michael McCarthy

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Carmel Fitzsimons

Carmel Fitzsimons

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Eibhlin Nic Eochaidh

Eibhlin Nic Eochaidh

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Joseph Woods

Joseph Woods

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Ann Leahy

Ann Leahy

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Alice Lyons

Alice Lyons

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Manus McManus

Manus McManus

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Joseph Horgan

Joseph Horgan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Dave Lordan

Dave Lordan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Enda Coyle-Green

Enda Coyle-Green

Enda Coyle-Greene was born in Dublin and lives in Skerries.  The manuscript of her debut collection, Snow Negatives, won the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2006 and was published by the Dedalus Press in 2007.  Her subsequent collections are Map of the Last (2013) and Indigo, Electric, Baby (2020) both also from the Dedalus Press.

Enda’s work has been published, anthologised and broadcast widely.  She holds an M.A. (Dist.) from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast and is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Fingal Poetry Festival.  She received a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in 2020.

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

It was my birthday. I was in a restaurant with my family and remember wondering, idly, who had won ‘the Kavanagh’ that year, never imagining that it might be me.  Two days later, when my mobile rang at work, I was expecting a call of a probably upsetting nature and bolstered myself to deal with that as I crossed the floor towards reception and privacy.

I could say that I was floored (almost literally) but that wouldn’t do justice to my reaction to Rosaleen Kearney’s calmly imparted news.  Anyone who was there with me on that otherwise normal Friday midday will attest to my stunned disbelief.  A board meeting was interrupted and the entire office came to a standstill on what is the busiest day of the week for a freight company. I drove home later with the back seat of my car filled with the flowers my workmates had bought me.

Afterwards, I described winning the Patrick Kavanagh Award as a watershed moment, one after which nothing was ever the same.   It is something I reach for on those days of doubt that bedevil every writer.  Kavanagh is a totemic poet for me, and the award is an honour I feel especially blessed by.  I was holding it close to my heart later that day when, inevitably, that other call came. I still do.

Publications

Snow Negatives (Dedalus, 2007) Winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award 2006

Map of the Last (Dedalus, 2013)

Indigo, Electric, Baby (Dedalus, 2020)

Conor Carville

Conor Carville

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Geraldine Mitchell

Geraldine Mitchell

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Martin Dyar

Martin Dyar

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Connie Roberts

Connie Roberts

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Helena Nolan

Helena Nolan

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Caoilinn Hughes

Caoilinn Hughes

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Rafiq Kathwari

Rafiq Kathwari

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

John Mee

John Mee

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Laurance O'Dwyer

Laurance O'Dwyer

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

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Ruth Timmons

Ruth Timmons

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Conor Cleary

Conor Cleary

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Scott McKendry

Scott McKendry

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

NO COMPETITION

NO COMPETITION

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications

Jerm Curtin

Jerm Curtin

The winner of the 2021 Patrick Kavanagh Award was Jerm Curtin, from Boherbue in north-west Cork. He lives in Spain where he teaches English as a foreign language.

The judge, the poet and novelist Brian Lynch, said, ‘Although this year’s competition had to be held at short notice, the response was unexpectedly large. I think Covid and the isolation associated with it led to a great deal of soul-searching and a pent-up demand for communication, which the Kavanagh Award released.’

He described Jerm Curtin’s collection, ‘The Drowned City’, as a vision of Cork permanently under water due to climate change – cars in the streets are replaced with kayaks – accompanied by a tender study of Noreen Daly, a recognisable but fictitious aging woman from Kanturk living alone in the city.

‘Curtin combines the sensitivity to language of a poet with a novelist’s eye for character’, Brian Lynch said.

Thoughts on Winning the Kavanagh award

Publications