Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2012, submissions welcomed

The closing date for entries for this year's Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award has just been announced as Friday 27th July 2012. The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is for a first unpublished collection of poems in English by an Irish poet and is now in its 41st year. Previous winners include Eileán Ni Chuilleanáin, Paul Durcan, Thomas McCarthy, Peter Sirr, Sinead Morrissey, Conor O’Callaghan, Pat Boran, Joseph Woods and Geraldine Mitchell. The winner of this year’s award will receive €1,000.

The Award will be presented on 28th September 2012 at the opening of the Annual Patrick Kavanagh Weekend in Inniskeen.

Rules and entry form from the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen:
Tel. 00353(0)429378560,  Fax 00353(0)429378855
Closing Date for receipt of entries is Friday 27th July 2012.

Further information available at: www.patrickkavanaghcountry.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Until not so long ago, the vast majority of poetry and small press imprints in these islands on a regular basis issued 'introductory' volumes featuring the work of perhaps a handful of up-and-coming writers, offering a more extensive selection of their work than might easily be accommodated in a literary journal or magazine.

In fact, a huge number of writers began their publishing careers in this way, and it's something of a mystery that the practice seems to have disappeared over the last decade or so.

Certainly, if our experience at Dedalus is anything to go by, the level of submissions of unsolicited work shows no sign of diminishing: if anything – and no doubt fuelled in part by a wide range of economic and social reasons – the volume of new work we receive on an ongoing basis is now greater than ever.

A small press, of course, can only do so much. And even if all of the new work received was great (which sadly it isn't), it would never make sense to publish everything.

One of the reasons, of course, is that publishing is not just about making and distributing books (or CDs, or whatever the end product might be). The job of a publisher is to choose and, crucially, then to get behind the things that have been chosen, to try to get them in front of readers and listeners, whoever and wherever they may be, to do what can be done to earn them some attention in the world.

With this in mind, Dedalus has decided to do its bit to revive that hugely useful (perhaps even crucial) 'introductory' volume tradition with the publication next month of the first in a new, annual series, Dedalus New Writers. Entitled Measuring: Dedalus New Writers 1, and featuring a selection of work by three very impressive up-and-coming poets, Marie Coveney from Cork, Clare McCotter from Derry and John Saunders from Offaly, this first in the series is both a statement of confidence in the wealth of new writing out there but also the beginning of a journey in which we hope to bridge the gap between individual magazine and book-length publication, though we also intend to draw attention to writers associated with other small presses, in the certain belief that good writing, wherever it comes from, deserves our support.

Measuring: Dedalus New Writers 1, will be launched on Monday 21 May, 2012, at the Irish Writers' Centre, Parnell Square, Dublin 1, along with new books by Mary Noonan (her debut collection, The Fado House) and Matthew Geden (The Place Inside). Every September, beginning this year, we intend to put out a call for submissions for the next volume in the series (make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter and sign up to our Newsletter so we can keep in touch).

In the meantime, the success of any poetry publication, perhaps especially an 'experimental' one like this, depends on the support of readers, reviewers, critics, booksellers and, of course, other writers. Ask for it in your local bookshop or library. If you read it, post a notice or review somewhere: there's plenty of space on the web! If like us you belief that poetry matters, spread the word.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Gerard Smyth to receive 2012 Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.

Dedalus Press poet Gerard Smyth has been announced as the 2012 recipient of the Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Award for Poetry. The $5,000 award, established in 1997 and administered by the Center for Irish Studies, University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minneapolis, honors Irish poets and is considered among the most prestigious of its kind. Named for Lawrence O’Shaughnessy, who taught English at St. Thomas from 1948 to 1950, the Award has been given in previous years to a veritable who's who of the Irish poetry world, recent former recipients including Mary O'Malley, Pat Boran, Theo Dorgan and Leanne O'Sullivan. In addition to the financial aspect of the award, the visit to St Paul by the recipient offers students of Irish literature and the general public alike a unique chance to interact with a working Irish poet over a number of days, and the visit typically includes readings, public interviews and interaction with student groups at the University of St Thomas. The Award is also supported by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

Gerard Smyth was born in Dublin in 1951 and began publishing poetry in the late 1960s. His first full collection, World Without End, was followed by Loss and Gain, and Painting the Pink Roses Black, before a long period during which he stopped writing poetry. After twelve years, he began writing again in 1999 and published the first of his series of books with Dedalus, Daytime Sleeper (2002). This was followed in 2004 by A New Tenancy and in 2007 by The Mirror Tent. The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems is his most recent book.

Gerard Smyth appears with local St Paul poet Patricia Kirkpatrick in a public conversation entitled “Poetry and the City: the Urban Muse,” at the Hamline Midway Branch Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., Saint Paul, at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, 2012. And Smyth also presents a reading of his own work at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, at the O’Shaughnessy Education Center Auditorium, University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., Saint Paul.