Media Contact:Ginny Greenberg
202 Hofstra Hall
Phone: (516) 463-6819
Send an E-mail
Date: Nov 22, 2010
Hofstra Instructor Connie Roberts Named the Winner of the 2010 Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY … Connie Roberts, a Hofstra University adjunct instructor of English and a resident of Merrick, Long Island, has been awarded the prestigious Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award for her memoir in verse, Not the Delft School, inspired by her experiences growing up in an orphanage in Ireland.
The late Patrick Kavanagh, regarded as one of the foremost Irish poets of the 20th century, is known for such works as the epic poem, “The Great Hunger” (1942), and the classic novel Tarry Flynn (1948). Named in his honor, the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award is bestowed upon a poet born in Ireland, of Irish nationality or a long term resident of Ireland. Poet, playwright, screenwriter, art critic and novelist Brian Lynch served as the adjudicator of the Kavanagh Award this year.
Now in its 38th year, the Kavanagh Award has recognized many artists who have gone on to great success as poets and authors. Previous winners include Harry Clifton, the current Ireland Chair of Poetry; Eileán Ni Chuilleanáin, this year's International Griffin Poetry Prize winner; Paul Durcan, the Whitbread Poetry Award and Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award recipient; Joe Woods, the Director of Poetry Ireland; and Sinead Morrissey, a Lannan Literary Fellowship winner.
Professor Roberts now joins that list of literary achievers. She will attend the awards ceremony and give a reading in County Monaghan, Ireland, on November 26, 2010, as part of The Patrick Kavanagh Weekend, a four-day festival (November 25 to 28). For more information on past winners and the festival visit www.patrickkavanaghcountry.com
Professor Roberts, a County Offaly native, emigrated to the United States in 1983. She graduated from Hofstra with a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. Her poetry has appeared in journals in the United States and Ireland. She was a finalist in the Strokestown International Poetry Competition in 2001 and the Dana Awards in 2003, as well as a semifinalist in the “Discovery”/The Nation Contest in 2000 and 2002. In 2009 Ms. Roberts was a nominee for the prestigious Hennessy X.O Literary Award.
Professor Roberts teaches in the Creative Writing program that is part of Hofstra University’s English Department, and which just announced the offering of an M.F.A. program, starting in the fall of 2011. She is also part of Hofstra’s Irish Studies Program, a new minor offered by Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Irish Studies at Hofstra is an interdisciplinary program with rich course offerings and events on Ireland’s past and present.
In addition to the Kavanagh Award, Professor Roberts has received a number of other accolades in recent months. Professor Roberts was awarded a place in the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2010 and read her work at the Irish Writers’ Centre, Dublin, in May 2010. She was awarded first prize in the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Competition and attended the awards ceremony at the Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer, County Tipperary, Ireland on October 8, 2010. In July Professor Roberts received a highly commended award in the iYeats Poetry Competition in County Sligo. In June, she was shortlisted for the Swift Satire Competition in County Meath. This fall her work appeared in the Long Island anthology Toward Forgiveness and in the Irish literary journal Boyne Berries.