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Wales Book of the Year recognition

14 May 2019

Poetry collection Insistence shortlisted for Roland Mathias Poetry Award

Ailbhe Darcy, Lecturer in Creative Writing, is one of three poets recognised in the Wales Book Of The Year 2019 shortlist, announced this month.

Insistence makes the English language poetry shortlist alongside Salacia by Mari Ellis Dunning and Gen by Jonathan Edwards.

Earlier this year the lauded collection featured in the TS Eliot Prize, Pigott Poetry Prize and the Poetry Now Award shortlists.

Last year fellow lecturer at the University’s highly regarded Centre for Creative and Critical Writing Tristan Hughes was shortlisted for Hummingbird, scooping the People’s Choice Award 2018.

Dublin-born writer and Creative Writer lecturer Ailbhe Darcy gives this insight into her latest collection:

"As a relative newcomer to Wales, this shortlisting is extra special for me, allowing me to feel that I am in some sense a Welsh poet as well as an Irish one. Poetry is taken very seriously here in Wales, just as it is in Ireland. And, just as every book is a collaborative effort, I wrote Insistence only with the help and support of my colleagues and students here in Cardiff."

A new child should mean new hope. But what if that’s no longer so? Set in the American Rust Belt, in an era of climate change and upheaval, Insistence takes stock of the parent’s responsibility to her child, the poet’s responsibility to the reader, and the vulnerability of the person in the face of global crisis, paying homage to Inger Christensen’s 1981 alfabet.

The Roland Mathias Poetry Award is one of eight Wales Book Of The Year awards including People’s Award (English language) and Gwobr Barn y Bobl (the Welsh-language people’s prize).

Presented by Literature Wales, the Wales Book Of The Year Awards are presented annually to the best works in the fields of creative writing and literary criticism in three categories: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction.

Chief Executive of Literature Wales Lleucu Siencyn said: “These exceptional titles encourage readers to explore and consider some of life’s biggest questions. Mental health and identity – both personal and national – flow through these selections. This is contemporary Welsh writing at its very finest.”

The 2019 Wales Book of The Year Awards are announced at a special awards ceremony on Thursday 20th June at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Voting for the People's Award is live until 7 June.

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