Emerging writers nominated for Hennessy Literary Awards

by Dublin Gazette
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Pictured at last year’s Hennessy Literary Awards were Vona Groarke, Hall of Fame Inductee; Una Mannion, Emerging Poetry Winner, Rachel Donohue, Emerging Fiction Winner and Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year; Sean Tanner, First Fiction Winner Pic: Marc O'Sullivan

The best of new Irish literature will be celebrated on March 21 when the 47th annual Hennessy Literary Awards take place.

Being held in the historic setting of the Honourable Society of King’s Inn, the awards will celebrate emerging literary talent from across Ireland.

Poets, short-story tellers and novelists alike will come together to celebrate the written word.

Categories include First Fiction, Emerging Fiction and Emerging Poetry, as well as the coveted overall Hennessy New Irish Writer prize for 2018.

There are a number of shortlistees for each award, based across the country and in different areas of expertise.

Dublin’s Pat Nolan is nominated in the First Fiction category for Women and Other Anthropoids, while Bray man Samuel McManus is also shortlisted for his piece, The Dog in the Story.

A number of Dublin writers are also shortlisted in the Emerging Fiction category. Out of seven shortlisted candidates, five are Dublin-based.

The shortlisted writers include Manus Boyle Tobin, Niall McArdle, Ellen Kelly, Angela Finn and Ruth McKee.

Poetry is also represented by the awards, with emerging poet Chris Connolly receiving a nod for two of his poems, Particulars of Bovine Husbandry, and Old-Age Sensibility.

As well as celebrating new writers, the Hennessy Literary Awards also honour the achievements of established writers. Since 2003, the awards induct one individual into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame.

This year will see novelist Bernard MacLaverty become the 16th figure inducted into it. MacLaverty received critical acclaim for his 1980 debut novel, Lamb, which went on to become a feature film starring Liam Neeson.

His 1983 novel, Cal, also went on to be made into a film starring Helen Mirren. Last year, he published his latest novel, Midwinter Break, after a 16-year break.

Other literary luminaries who have been inducted into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame include Vona Groarke, Joseph O’Connor, Frank McGuinness, Anne Enright, John Boyne, and Paula Meehan.

The winners of the respective awards are chosen by two esteemed authors, alongside editor of the Irish Times’ New Irish Writing page, Ciaran Carty.

All pieces nominated for an award were published in the monthly New Irish Writing page within the Times.

This year’s judges are Marina Carr, winner of the lucrative 2017 Windham-Campbell prize, and ‘honorary Welshman’ Niall Griffiths, who is likened to a cross between Roddy Doyle and Irvine Welsh

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