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The Irish Times Poetry Now 2012 Shortlist

The Irish Times Poetry Now Award is presented annually to the author of the best single volume of poems published by an Irish poet in the previous year. The shortlist for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2012 is:


Moya Cannon – Hands – Carcanet Press

Michael Longley – A Hundred Doors – Cape Poetry

John Montague – Speech Lessons – Gallery Press

Bernard O’Donoghue – Farmers Cross – Faber and Faber

Macdara Woods – The Cotard Dimension – Dedalus Press


Moya Cannon was born in Dunfanaghy, County Donegal . She is the author of three other collections of poetry, Oar, The Parchment Boat and Carrying the Songs.

Michael Longley is the author of several award winning collections of poetry. He was The Ireland Chair Professor of Poetry, 2007-2010.

John Montague’s New and Collected Poems were published this year. In 1998 John Montague was chosen as The Ireland Chair Professor of Poetry.

Bernard O’Donoghue was born in Cullen, Co. Cork in 1945. He has published five collections with Faber and Faber.

Macdara Woods Collected Poems are launched at Mountains to Sea / Poetry Now on September 9th. He is a member of Aosdána.

Previous winners of the Irish Times Poetry Now Award have included Derek Mahon, Harry Clifton, Seamus Heaney, Dorothy Molloy and Sinéad Morrissey. The prize-winner will receive €5,000.

The judges for The Irish Times Poetry Now Award 2012 are James Harpur, Mary Shine Thompson and Gerald Dawe.

The winner will be announced in The Irish Times on Saturday, September 8th and an award ceremony will be held at Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival 2012 on September 8th. The festival runs from the 4th to the 9th of September and the programme is available on


" The Irish Times Poetry Now Award is a unique prize in Irish poetry. We’re delighted to announce the 2012 shortlist, which showcases the finest poetry collections of the last year. Congratulations to the five poets and their publishers. A sincere thank you to The Irish Times for its continued support of the award and thank you to our judges too. We look forward to hearing their final decision on September 8th ." 

Paul Perry, dlr Poetry Now Curator