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29 Sept 2022

Tipperary woman named winner of prestigious Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize

Winner of prestigious Michael Hartnett Poet Prize announced

Tipperary woman Eleanor Hooker, has scooped this year's award

THE winner of a prestigious West Limerick literary competition has been announced.

Tipperary poet Eleanor Hooker, who has been lauded as a “poet with a unique voice that refuses to apologise” has been revealed as the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award 2022 winner.

Her winning collection, Of Ochre and Ash, (Dedalus Press 2021), has been described as “compelling” and “memorable” by this year’s judges, poets Kerry Hardie and Peter Sirr. 

“Many excellent books were submitted for the Michael Hartnett Annual Poetry Award this year, but we both kept circling back to Eleanor Hooker’s third collection,” the judges said.

For Eleanor Hooker, “poems are a safe place to put vulnerable, breakable things.”

She said: “It’s difficult to articulate just how much this means to me, how validating it is that these two great poets and writers have chosen my work for this incredibly prestigious award. It’s a tremendous honour.” 

Ms Hooker will be presented with the Michael Hartnett Poetry Award and €8,000 prize money on the opening night of Éigse Michael Hartnett which takes place in Newcastle West, October 6-9.

For full details go toeigsemichaelhartnett.ie.

Eleanor Hooker initially trained as a nurse and mid-wife. She lived for several years in the UK and holds an MA (Hons) from the University of Northumbria. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin and is currently studying for a PhD. 

She lives in Dromineer, Tipperary with her husband Peter. They have two sons.

An admirer of the late poet Michael Hartnett, Ms Hooker said that he “wrote with courage of his most dark and raw moments, without artifice or pretence.”

“Hartnett died too young, but to continue to read his poems is to remember that ‘eras do not end when great poets die/for poetry is not whole,” she added.

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