Poet Sinéad Morrissey wins Forward Prize for Best Collection
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland sends its warmest congratulations to Sinéad Morrissey on winning the Forward Prize for Best Collection for her latest volume ‘On Balance’ (Carcanet Press).
The accolade, which brings a cash prize of £10,000, is among the most coveted awards in the poetry world. Previous winners from Northern Ireland are Seamus Heaney and Ciaran Carson. Among the poets shortlisted for the prize this year were senior Belfast poet Michael Longley with his collection ‘Angel Hill’ (Cape) and Dublin poet Tara Bergin with ‘The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx’ (Carcanet).
Morrissey was the recipient of a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council in 2012, and her subsequent collection ‘Parallax’ (2013) won both the Irish Times Poetry Now Award and the TS Eliot Prize and, in 2014, she was the inaugural Belfast Poet Laureate. In 2016, ‘Parallax and Selected Poems’ was published in the US by Farrar Straus and Giroux. Earlier this year, she took up the post of Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, she has travelled widely and lived in Japan and New Zealand before returning to Belfast in 1999. In 2002, she was appointed Writer in Residence at Queen’s University Belfast, and was Professor of Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry before taking up her new position at Newcastle.
The critic Fintan O’Toole has described Morrissey as “the laureate of a post-conflict Northern Ireland” and Martin Doyle of the Irish Times said today that her triumph in London last night had
“cement[ed] her reputation as the leading Irish poet of her generation”.
Arts Council Chief Executive Roisín McDonough said:
'The last five years have seen Sinéad Morrissey’s star rise as a poet to such an extent that she is ranked among the very best writing in the world today. We are proud to have been able to contribute to her career and prouder that her attachment to her origins here has proven so deep and so immensely fruitful for her creativity. Congratulations indeed.'"