Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Patrick and Katherine Fellowship in poetry

We received the following press release from Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Associate Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, which may be of interest:
The Patrick and Katherine Fellowship in poetry for 2009 has been awarded to Janice Fitzpatrick Simmons. The Fellowship is given annually under the terms of the will of Patrick Kavanagh's widow Katherine.
Katherine Kavanagh set up a Trust to help Irish poets who are in need of assistance. She wrote in her will, 'In the light of certain conversations that I had with my late husband I am of the opinion that poets can best benefit from grants, bursaries, loans or any manner of financial assistance during their "middle years ," that is to say that period of their creative life when they have established that they are capable of work of merit and before they are too old to reap the full benefit of such assistance.'
The award is made to a poet who has published a substantial body of work over time. Applicants are asked to submit evidence of age, of citizenship, and of income, along with copies of published work.
Janice Fitzpatrick is an Irish poet born in Boston, who has published five collections, including Settler, The Bowsprit and most recently Saint Michael in Peril of the Sea (Salmon, 2009). Her 'poems of pilgrimage and of physicality' question the engagements between humans and landscape, between people at odds with themselves and each other. In her work, human figures are rarely alone; their scenes and encounters are observed and captured in a language often plain, but strongly suggestive and full of feeling.
A former Assistant Director of the Robert Frost Place in New Hampshire, Janice Fitzpatrick was co-founder, with her late husband James Simmons (who died in 2001), and Director of the Poets' House/Teach na h éigse, located in Falcarragh, County Donegal. She also taught an MA in poetry at Waterford Institute of Technology. She now lives in Donegal.

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