The historic setting of Smock Alley Theatre will set the scene for the announcement of the 48th Hennessy Literary Awards on Thursday March 28th. The Hennessy Literary Awards celebrates the best of emerging Irish literary talent. Poets, novelists, short story tellers and lovers of literature will come together on the night as the winners of the First Fiction, Emerging Fiction and Emerging Poetry categories are revealed, as well as the overall Hennessy New Irish Writer for 2019.
Each year the winners, whose pieces were published in the monthly New Irish Writing page in the Irish Times, are chosen by two esteemed judges and New Irish Writing page editor, Ciaran Carty. This year’s judges are Martina Evans, whose first novel, Midnight Feast, won a Betty Trask Award in 1995 and her third novel, No Drinking No Dancing No Doctors won an Arts Council England Award in 1999; and acclaimed novelist Eoin McNamee, who has written novels including Resurrection Man, which was made into a film starring Stuart Townsend, Brenda Fricker and Sean McGinley, and The Blue Tango, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize.
In addition to celebrating new Irish writers, since 2003 the Hennessy Literary Awards has honoured the success and achievements of established Irish writers and poets by inducting one eminent nominee each year into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame. This year’s inductee Mike McCormack will be the 17th key figure from the Irish literary world inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Mike McCormack’s virtuoso third novel, Solar Bones, the story of a dead man returning to rural Mayo on All Souls’ Day, was voted novel of the year at the Irish Book Awards. It then picked up the UK’s prestigious Goldsmiths Prize. 1993 New Irish Writing published his first fiction, Thomas Crumlesh 1960-1992: A Retrospective, a surreal story about a body artist who kept self-harming at exhibitions until none of his body was left.
Other literary luminaries who have been inducted into the Hennessy Literary Awards Hall of Fame include Vona Groarke, Joseph O’Connor, Deirdre Madden Patrick McCabe, Colum McCann, Frank McGuinness, Anne Enright, Neil Jordan, Sebastian Barry, John Boyne, and Paula Meehan.
The shortlistees for this year’s Hennessy Literary Awards are:
- Daire McNally based in London for A Noodle of Truth
- David Horgan based in Cork for Indigo
- Eamon Doggett based in Co Meath for Flipping Burgers
- Jamie Samson based in Dublin for The Cliffs
- Lauren MacKenzie, based in Dublin for How We Met
- Serena Lawless based in Galway for Brother
- Anne O’Brien based in Belgium for Who is the Fairest of Them All?
- Colin Walsh based in Belgium for Between the Waves
- Helen de Burca based in Switzerland for The Ride Home
- Michelle Coyne based in Galway for Smoke
- Neil Bristow based in Berlin for Waste Disposal
- Trisha McKinney based in Dublin. For Bird by Bird
- Anne Walsh Donnelly based in Mayo for Being in Love at Fifty
- Audrey Molloy based in Australia for At the Shell Midden
- Ilyana Kuhling based in Limerick for Fixed Vortex and Ingrained
- James Finnegan based in Donegal for you can’t blame the water and ‘what Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) does not know is
- Jennifer Matthews based in Cork for Monsters
- Laura McKenna based in Cork for Mum, Jasper in the Morning and Brent
- Siobhan Mac Mahon based in Dublin for Ars Poetica and Ultrasound