The Patrick Kavanagh Society and the Patrick Kavanagh Centre are delighted to announce the recipient of the 2022 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is Ben Keatinge.
Born in Dublin in 1973 Ben is an alumnus of the School of English, Trinity College Dublin where he is currently teaching Irish-American poetry. The 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 judge, poet Noel Monahan, described Ben Keatinge’s collection, ‘The Wireless Station’, as subtle and sensitive, communicating the essential loneliness of writing and the isolation of the poet and poetry in general. The final poem in the collection a particular highlight. Of ‘Okapi’ (a rare animal found in the Congo), Monahan says ‘in many ways a subtle metaphor for the poet in isolation. The collection ending as it began, with a subtle sense of communication. Always branching outwards, always crossing borders …’
Noel Monahan also took time to commend the eleven highly commended entries which are listed in the next paragraph. He was also very impressed by the overall standard of entries this year with a variety of themes and styles explored. For more about the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award and previous winners check out our dedicated page. Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award
Steve Duggan – ‘Fully Formed’
Jakub Safiak – ‘The Pear Tree’
Monica de Bhailís – ‘Blistered Glazing’
Alice Emma Bennett – ‘The things I Could Have Said#
Mark Ward – ‘Masters’
Eoghan Totten – ‘The Living Curve’
Peggy McCarthy – ‘The Low Heels of Home’
Eoin Hegarty – ‘New Harmonics’
John Noonan – ‘Glass-Maker’
Mary McCarthy – ‘Caminos Hidden Secret’
Paul McMahon – ‘The Wings My Father Made Me’
BEN KEATINGE Bio Note:
Ben Keatinge was born in Dublin in 1973 and educated at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin where he is currently teaching Irish-American poetry. Among his academic publications is the collection, Making Integral: Critical Essays on Richard Murphy (Cork UP, 2019). His poems have been published in The Irish Times, The Dalhousie Review, Archipelago, Agenda and anthologised in Writing Home (Dedalus, 2019), Hold Open the Door (UCD Press, 2020), Local Wonders (Dedalus, 2021) and Chasing Shadows (Lapwing, 2022). He taught English literature in North Macedonia for nine years, travelling extensively in the Balkans, and his poetry has taken inspiration from the connections between Ireland and eastern Europe.