Great News for Irish Writing as Winners for Listowel Writers’ Week Competition Awards 2020 Announced
Listowel Writers’ Week 2020 was due to take place this week, 27th May to 31st May. An online Awards Ceremony, held on Wednesday 27th May at 8pm, honoured all competition entrants and their talented writing, during an incredibly strange and unprecedented year. This could not have happened without the loyalty of our Sponsors and Patrons and we are delighted to say a huge thank you to them all for their sponsorship of, and dedication to, supporting writers at a time when it is most needed.
Our Festival President, Colm Tóibín, spoke fondly via video of his many memories of Listowel Writers’ Week. He spoke about the many enjoyable weeks he has spent, over the years, celebrating the written word in the worthy company of authors and artists who continue to enrich our lives. He remarked that the festival is a beacon of light in Ireland which harnesses energy and excellence and that the written word is transformed and enlightened by the Festival presence in the international calendar.
Chairperson Catherine Moylan announced the winners and shortlist of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020 and the Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020 online, on the night. She thanked both sponsors, Kerry Group and Mark Pigott KBE, for their continued support and sponsorship of these prestigious literary awards.
We were on the cusp of releasing another wonderful programme of great writers and artists, all of whom were dedicated and excited to bring a jam-packed literary diary of events to the 50th celebration of Listowel Writers’ Week. Although the door of the Listowel Arms Hotel was not open to welcome so many of our literary friends this year, we celebrated and marked the occasion with a very special digital Awards Ceremony to honour the many writers who graced us with their wonderful works of literature. We are already planning for 2021 and look forward to welcoming you again and supporting and promoting writers and the written word.
The close-knit community of Arts practitioners, both here in Ireland and internationally, have all suffered as a result of this pandemic. Writers have missed out on so much with the postponement of many book publications, cancellations of book launches and much-loved Festivals. Here in Listowel we witness first-hand, each year, the delight of our authors and readers who greet each other at book signings and literary events, and meet informally as the sun shines down upon our beautiful town. So many are doing their level best to help, and Irish independent bookshops continue to do a wonderful job in supporting writers through facilitating and feeding our love of reading. We will miss the buzz in Listowel this year, but we’ll be back in 2021 ready and eager to welcome you to what will still be our 50th Festival.
The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020
The winner of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020 was announced. Well known and much loved author Edna O’Brien, with her novel Girl, scooped the large literary purse of the evening – €15,000. Her lifetime of writing spans six decades and she has created many great works of literature over this time.
Frank Hayes, representing sponsor Kerry Group commented: “In celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, we are pleased to salute the five shortlisted writers selected by Carol Drinkwater and Ian McGuire. Congratulations to each of them for their wonderful novels which greatly augment the prestige of the literature of Ireland and most especially to our 2020 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award winner Edna O’Brien for her brave, compelling work GIRL.”
He also thanked this year’s adjudicators Ian McGuire and Carol Drinkwater for their great work and dedication to the adjudication of all competition entries.
The Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020
What Planet by Miriam Gamble was awarded The Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020. This is Miriam’s third collection of poetry. Her first two collections of poetry are The Squirrels Are Dead and Pirate Music. She grew up in Belfast and currently lectures at Edinburgh University in creative writing. This prize is for an Irish poet who has published a collection of poetry, kindly sponsored by Mark Pigott, KBE and Executive Chairman of PACCAR Inc. With family origins in Listowel, Mark’s family emigrated to the United States of America in the late 1980’s.
Mark Pigott said: “It is a blessing to be able to support this wonderful literary award and recognise the leading poets of Ireland. This is the 7th year of the prize and the competition is world class. I would like to thank our adjudicator, Ian McMillan, for his hard work and thorough review of all the entrants and congratulate him on his excellent selection of this year’s shortlist which showcases the beauty, diversity and strength of Irish Poetry“.
The Full List of Literary Award Winners on the Night
The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2020
Girl by Edna O’Brien
Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
Leonard & Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession
Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry
The River Capture by Mary Costello
The Pigott Poetry Prize Award 2020
What Planet by Miriam Gamble
When the Tree Falls by Jane Clarke
Pigeon Songs by Eoghan Walls
Listal – Single Poem Award 2020
Terminarch by Jo Burns
Kerry County Council – The Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award 2020
Grace by Angela Lyons
Foras Na Gaeilge – Duais Foras Na Gaeilge Award 2020
Iarlais by Áine Ní Ghlinn
Tim Costello, Profile Developments – The Poetry Collection Competition Award 2020
Mating on the Wing by John D Kelly
Bill Walsh & Family, Aspire Technology Limited – Eamon Keane Full Length Play Award 2020 in Association with Siamsa Tire
Giddyups Way by Ciara Cassoni
Listowel Writers’ Week Originals Humorous Essay Award 2020
The Cow as a Political Actor by Gavin O’Toole
The Nilsson Family – The Nilsson Local Heritage Writing Competition Award 2020
Capard, An Irish Country House and Estate by Ciaran Reilly
School at Slyne Head by Colm Wallace
Kerry County Council – Creative Writing Competitions for Youth Award 2020
Age 9 and Under:
1st: Winter Woolies by Ellie May Walsh
2nd: The Dog Who Hurt His Paw by Aoibhinn May Smith
3rd: The Great Famine by Charlie O’Neill
Age 12 and Under:
1st: Outside My Window by Anna O’Sullivan
2nd: The Pocket Watch by Ciara Kelly
3rd: A Day with Dinosaurs by Siena Ryan
Age 15 and Under:
1st: The Midnight Ball by Ruth McCarthy
2nd: A Filipino Mystery by Sarah Moynihan
3rd: Forgotten Forest by Aleksandra Glebocka
Age 18 and Under:
1st: Girls in the Shape of Birds in the Shape of Girls by Emma Harris
2nd: Old Friends and New Friends by Lauren McDermott
3rd: Funeral by Conor Keane
Robert & Olive Pierse – Creative Writing for Special Educational Needs Award 2020 – Age 18 and Under
1st: Connemara by William O’Connor
2nd: Supergran by Oisin O’hAolain
3rd: One Moment in Time by Sarah O’Leary
Pierce Fitzgibbon Solicitors – Creative Writing for Adults with Special Needs Award 2020
1st: Childhood by Joseph Ganley
2nd: Disability by Paul Manning
3rd: Flame of a Rainbow by Dean Kiely
Huge thanks to all of our generous Sponsors and Patrons who support our great literary awards every year.
Congratulations to all award recipients. Thank you to all writers’ that submitted their creative literary works, continue writing and keep the written word alive!
#Writing #Winners #LiteraryAwards #KerryGroup #Novels #Pigott #Poetry
BY JO BURNS – for Fatu, Kenya, 2018
Girl, you’re the last combination of chromosomes
and randomly smolt genes of your species.
You wear survival on your hide like an armour
of melted-down spearheads and machetes.
You vocalize the thunderous gutterals
of your indigenous tongue into seasons of hollow,
and are last to walk the way of the pilgrims
and mates to the familial watering holes.
Your brothers crossed the Ngorongoro cradle
to the other side to join the djinn. Their fathers,
and fathers before them, travelled past
the cauldron caldera you would call home,
if free to. Their pride graces teak tresors
as polished handles of yemenese daggers,
or ground to myth in Chinese powders.
But your grandfather, as rare as rhodium
in his life, cleared the walls of hunting lodges,
to a crash of poems. Like you, he was a birth
of magma from the fertile crater core.
Now receeding like lava back to the spirits,
he is a zip of unravelling DNA helix
and nucleotides you share, but have no use for.
As you search through cracks of crust and mantle
for the rest of your days, some holy place
to call your own, you lumber on a petered-out trail
of seed and sequence, relic and reason,
red dust. You are from yet also filled with volcano
and desire for something with no name, no outlet.
When the earth swallowed his last death trumpet,
deep underground an ancient herd stampeded.
Hearing it, he lowered his bullish head to charge
the rim. He knew he was storming time
to surrender to the last century of man.
You are so many things at once, a matriarch
without fold, an endling of magical code,
revered by the old ones, in lineage and bone.
And the horizon is a blood sky spilling towards
you. Fatu, you’re extinct despite still living
and we mourn the last ever male of your kind,
the northern white rhino, named Sudan,
who leaves you, granddaughter, behind him.
Source: Listowel Writers’ Week (May 2020)