Paul Lynch wins Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year


Listowel Writers’ Week Officially Opens It’s Doors on Wednesday Night May 30th
A host of Irish and international poets, playwrights, novelists, short story writers, artists and musicians flocked into Listowel on Wednesday evening for the 48th Opening and Awards Ceremony of Listowel Writers’ Week.
Award winning US Poet Billy Collins officially opened the Festival. Music on the evening was provided by award winning A Capella group Ardú. There were recitations from poet Clodagh Beresford Dunn who won the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards Poem of the Year 2018.

Festival President Colm Tóibín was present at the Opening Ceremony and he he held A Cuppa with Colm on Thursday morning.

Festival Chairperson Liz Dunn welcomed everyone to the Opening Ceremony and stated that “This year’s festival programme is outstanding and covers such a wide variety of literature and responses to literature, that there really is something for everyone. It certainly justifies our “Best Irish Festival 2018 Award”.
The John B. Keane Lifetime Achievement Award, in association with Mercier Press, was presented to poet Edna O’Brien in recognition of her outstanding contribution to literature internationally.

The biggest buzz of the night was kept for the announcement of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award 2017.
Irish novelist Paul Lynch with his novel Grace, walked away with the €15,000 prize. The prize was presented to Paul Lynch by Frank Hayes of Kerry Group, who said ‘As one of the notable highlights of the annual Irish literary awards, the Kerry Group Award for Irish fiction has once again brought the country’s finest writers to the fore. This year’s shortlist includes five fantastic novels that sit comfortably alongside the previous winners of this prestigious prize. Congratulations to each of the shortlisted authors and most especially to our Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year winner, Paul Lynch, for his wonderful work Grace.’ He also thanked this year’s adjudicators Jane Urquhart and Alex Preston for their hard work and dedication to the adjudication.

The Pigott Poetry Prize was awarded to Colette Bryce who won €8,000 for her collection Selected Poems 2000-2014. This prize is for a published collection of poetry by an Irish poet generously sponsored by Mark Pigott, KBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of PACCAR Inc. Mark’s family originated from Listowel and emigrated to the United States in the late 1890s. Mark flew in from New York earlier today  and he too thanks this year’s adjudicators Billy Collins and Deryn Rees Jones for their work in choosing this year’s winner.

The Festival continues until Sunday 3rd June and will feature a host of international and national writers and guests in Listowel for five days of books, banter and bestsellers!
Guests will include Margaret Drabble, Adrian Dunbar, Anthony Horowitz, Alex Preston, Jimmy Page, Scarlett Sabet, Michael Longley, Colette Bryce, Billy Collins, Pauline Bewick, Carlo Gebler, Eimear McBride to name a very small selection.

The festival will also feature 12 Creative Writing Workshops ranging from Novel, Poetry, Songwriting and Short Fiction. Running alongside the main festival Listowel Writers’ Week also hosts The National Children’s Festival over 4 days and will feature Joe Coelho, Sarah Webb, Robin Stevens, Helena Duggan and a host of family themed events.
So…something for everybody during the Bank Holiday weekend in The Kingdom of Words!

Pictured: Writers Week Kerry Group winning novelist Paul Lynch with his novel Grace who walked away with the €15,000 prize pictured with Festival Chairperson Liz Dunn at Writers Week.

Photo by Domnick Walsh – Eye Focus LTD – 087 / 2672033