Connie Roberts is the 2010 winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award. We have published Connie Roberts in Boyne Berries, she has been shortlisted in our Swift Satire competition, she was one of the Poetry Ireland Introductions 2010 and I met her at Dromineer this year where she won the poetry competition.
She came second in the Patrick Kavanagh competition in 2007 so that gives hope to those of us who have already been second or third. The presentation was made this Friday evening in Inniskeen as part of the Patrick Kavanagh weekend.
Connie teaches at the Hofstra University, New York, and below are extracts from the University press release on her win.
Connie Roberts, a Hofstra University adjunct instructor of English and a resident of Merrick, Long Island, has been awarded the prestigious Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for her memoir in verse, Not the Delft School, inspired by her experiences growing up in an orphanage in Ireland.
The late Patrick Kavanagh, regarded as one of the foremost Irish poets of the 20th century, is known for such works as the epic poem, “The Great Hunger” (1942), and the classic novel Tarry Flynn (1948). Named in his honor, the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is bestowed upon a poet born in Ireland, of Irish nationality or a long term resident of Ireland. Poet, playwright, screenwriter, art critic and novelist Brian Lynch served as the adjudicator of the Kavanagh Award this year.
Now in its 38th year, the Kavanagh Award has recognized many artists who have gone on to great success as poets and authors. Previous winners include Harry Clifton, the current Ireland Chair of Poetry; Eileán Ni Chuilleanáin, this year's International Griffin Poetry Prize winner; Paul Durcan, the Whitbread Poetry Award and Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award recipient; Joe Woods, the Director of Poetry Ireland; and Sinead Morrissey, a Lannan Literary Fellowship winner.
Professor Roberts, a County Offaly native, emigrated to the United States in 1983. She graduated from Hofstra with a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her poetry has appeared in journals in the United States and Ireland. She was a finalist in the Strokestown International Poetry Competition in 2001 and the Dana Awards in 2003, as well as a semifinalist in the “Discovery”/The Nation Contest in 2000 and 2002. In 2009 Ms. Roberts was a nominee for the prestigious Hennessy X.O Literary Award.