Poet James Harpur has been announced as the winner of the Michael Hartnett Annual Poetry Award 2009.
Harpur, who lived for a year near Strokestown and is a regular workshop facilitator at the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, will receive a cheque for €6,500 for his book The Dark Age. The Michael Hartnett Poetry Award is one of the biggest poetry prizes in the country and is jointly funded by Limerick County Council and the Arts Council.
‘The Dark Age’ is James Harpur’s fourth collection of poetry, all of which have been published by Anvil Press. The book celebrates love, new birth and death, and explores the lives of Irish saints in a powerful sequence of sonnets. Previous awards for his poetry include the British National Poetry Competition in 1995. He is currently poetry editor of Southword, one of Ireland’s leading literary journals, and the Temenos Academy Review, a publication founded by the poet and William Blake scholar, Kathleen Raine. He has held poetry residencies at the Munster Literature Centre in Cork and at Exeter Cathedral in the UK. He lives near Clonakilty, Co. Cork.
The Hartnett Poetry Award will be presented this year on Thursday 23rd April at the opening night of Éigse Michael Hartnett in Newcastle West, County Limerick.