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Wales Book of the Year 2019: Poet Ailbhe Darcy wins award

By June 21, 2019No Comments

Source : B B C

Cardiff-based poet Ailbhe Darcy has won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2019.

Her collection Insistence was called a “thoroughly human project” and “operatic, mortal, unforgettable” by the judges.

Dublin-born Ms Darcy also won the Roland Mathias Poetry Award at the ceremony at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Insistence has already won the Pigott Poetry Prize and been shortlisted for two more.

Ms Darcy, who is a lecturer in creative writing at Cardiff University, won a £4,000 prize and a trophy.

Insistence was set during a six-year period the poet and her family spent living in a post-industrial city in the Midwestern United States.



Her poems explore her feelings of bringing up a child in an environment of economic, racial and environmental separation.

Judge Sandeep Parmar said: “Insistence is a proliferation of uncertain and strange lyric events, invigorating poetry at the level of line and language.”

She said Ms Darcy’s work opened up a natural world “where love erupts with explosive force onto the necessity of living.”

Literature Wales chief executive Lleucu Siencyn said: “Wales has an age-old poetic tradition, and Ailbhe Darcy’s win shows us that poetry’s power to help us make sense of the world, ourselves, and others around us is as relevant today as it always has been.”


The English-language fiction award was won by Carys Davies for her novel West.

Oliver Bullough won the English creative non-fiction award for Moneyland, which looks at power and wealth in global finance.

Poet Jonathan Edwards won a people’s choice award.

The Welsh-language Award was won by Manon Steffan Ros for her dystopian novel Llyfr Glas Nebo, which also won the prose medal at the National Eisteddfod in 2018.

Alan Llwyd won the Welsh-language poetry award, while Andrew Green won the non-fiction award.

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