16 October 2023

The Patrick Kavanagh Society in association with the Patrick Kavanagh Centre are delighted to announce this year’s recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is Lauren O'Donovan.

Lauren O’Donovan is a writer and mother from Cork. In 2023, she won the Cúirt New Writing Prize in Poetry and was shortlisted for Listowel Writers’ Week Collection Award, Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition, and the Fish Poetry Prize. Lauren is co-founder of Lime Square Poets and HOWL New Irish Writing.

The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry award, which includes €2000 for the recipient, is given to a poet who has yet to publish a full collection. It has marked the beginning of the careers of many of Ireland’s leading contemporary poets, including Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Paul Durcan and Sinéad Morrisey. The winner in 2022 was Ben Keatinge.

This year’s adjudicator was acclaimed poet Victoria Kennefick who expressed huge admiration for the sheer raw power of Lauren’s poetry throughout her collection ‘Taxidermy Heart’.  Victoria also commended the overall quality of this year’s submissions and was full of praise for the two Runners Up ‘Elvis and Apple Trees’ by Sean Kelly and ‘Saturn Devouring’ by Simon Costello.  Aside from these a further 10 submissions were Highly Commended.

Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2023

Lauren O’Donovan for her collection ‘Taxidermy Heart

Runners Up
Sean Kelly, ‘Elvis and Apple Trees
Simon Costello, ‘Saturn Devouring

Highly Commended
Kate Caoimhe Arthur, ‘Squint
Daragh Byrne, ‘Holy Hour
Daragh Fleming, ‘The Hole
Siobhan Flynn, ‘I have disgraced myself again
Trudie Gorman, ‘Trust The Damage
Gerard Lee, ‘The Gift of Nails
Tara McEvoy, ‘Coenties Slip
David Nash, ‘No Mans Land
Phoebe Walker, ‘Allerlei
Landa Wo, Poet in Exile

Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award