The winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for 2011 is Helena Nolan. Kilkenny-born Helena currently lives and works in Dublin, after a number of years abroad in London and Kuala Lumpur. In 2008 she received an MA in Creative Writing from UCD. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies and shortlisted in a range of competitions, including Fish and Strokestown. Last year she was awarded joint second prize in the Patrick Kavanagh Award. She lives in Shankill and is married with two sons.
The judge was the poet, novelist and screenwriter Brian Lynch. He described Helena Nolan’s entry, ‘The Bone House’, which was partly inspired by the 1937 visit to Ireland of the great American poet Elizabeth Bishop, as a leap upward in her work, a heartfelt bid to overcome the downward force of everyone’s everyday experience.
The €1,000 prize was presented by Peter Murphy, Chairman, Patrick Kavanagh Society at the Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan on Friday, 30th September 2011.
Sharing the second prize were Michael J. Whelan, Tallaght, Co. Dublin; Cliona O’Connell, Phibsborough, Dublin; and Andrew Jamison, Crossgar, Downpatrick, Co. Down.