Michael Hartnett Poetry Award prize money doubled

Michael Hartnett, an outstanding weaver of words and concepts as Béarla agus Gaeilge.

TO celebrate the 20th year of the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, Limerick City and County Council and the Arts Council have announced that the value of the prize for 2022 has been doubled to €8,000.

The award marks Michael Hartnett’s contribution to literature in English and Irish and The winning poet will be presented with the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award on 06 October 2022, the opening night of Éigse Michael Hartnett Literary & Arts Festival in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

Each year the award alternates between works in the Irish and English languages, and this year the award will be for a third or subsequent volume of poetry in English.

Mícheál Ó hAirtnéide statue. Pic: Cian Reinhardt

This year’s adjudicators are poets Kerry Hardie and Peter Sirr, both past recipients of the award and they have warmly welcomed the increase in prize money.

“This is an important award, carrying the name of a truly outstanding practitioner in both Irish and English poetry. Zoom launches and the sparsity of festivals make it hard to draw attention to books of enduring quality. In such times the Michael Hartnett Award is an especially valuable endorsement,” Kerry Hardie said.

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“It takes years of labour to put together a collection of poems, with no guarantee that the work will find publishers or readers,” Pater Sirr said.

“Awards like the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award, named for a brilliant poet who dedicated himself fiercely to his art, are ways of acknowledging the risk and effort involved in the making of poems,” he added.

The Eigse Michael Hartnett committee has also welcomed the increase in the value of the prize and has expressed its gratitude, in particular, to Limerick City and County Council for its generosity and foresight.

“This is a further acknowledgement that poetry matters and we are delighted with this development,” said Norma Prendiville, speaking on behalf of the organisers.

“Our hope is that it will further add to the respect and esteem in which the award is held. And we are certain that the late Michael Hartnett would have approved,” she added.

The award is co-funded by Limerick City and County Council and the Arts Council.

The closing date for receipt of application forms and submitted books is Friday 17 June 2022.