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Poet Diane Louie wins 2021 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize

Diane Louie

Diane Louie has been announced as the winner of the 2021 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize for her first book of poems Fractal Shores.

Awarded annually to the author of an outstanding first poetry book collection in the English language and valued at €10,000, the prize is sponsored by the John Pollard Foundation and administered by the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. The patron of the John Pollard Foundation is Stephen Vernon, who named the Foundation in memory of his grandfather, John Pollard.
In her first poetry book, a collection of prose poems, Diane thinks of the poems as little events. They are happening and happenings. They draw on experience, image, metaphor, and all the properties of language to create little worlds-in-motion: spinning while orbiting, actively shifting our point of view.

Award-winner Diane Louie says:
“I am elated and profoundly honoured to be the recipient of the third annual John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize. Made possible by the generosity of Stephen Vernon, the Foundation's vision celebrates English literature's international vitality. This past year, the global confinement has brought home how connected we are across cultures and political boundaries, and in our shared isolation, how deeply important literature is to our well-being. It has been such a long year for all of us. For me personally, the Foundation's recognition is a sweet reminder that even though we have been kept apart, a book – of poems! – can connect us. The Foundation's confidence in my work means the world to me; this recognition will give my book independent wings and allow me to continue with the work I love. I look forward to sharing the vitality of our poetic endeavour as we go forward: even in a pandemic, poetry never needs a mask!”

Members of the prize jury were: (Chairperson) Eoin Mc Namee, Director of the Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College Dublin; Alice Lyons, writer; Vona Groarke, poet; Professor Philip Coleman, School of English, Trinity College Dublin.

Eoin Mc Namee, from the selection committee says:
“The work in Diane Louie’s Fractal Shores is vivid and cosmopolitan, an exquisite combination of intellectual fire and lyric craft, and we are delighted to see it emerge as the winner of the 2021 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize.

The benefactor of the prize, Stephen Vernon, congratulated the winner on her achievement:
“Once again, the selection committee has picked an outstanding debut collection of poems. Diane Louie is enormously talented, with a talent that is wholly her own, and she is a most deserving winner of the 2021 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize.”
Diane Louise was born in Newfoundland and grew up in Connecticut. She earned degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop for both fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in EpochArts & Letters, FIELD
TriQuarterlyCloudbank and elsewhere. She lives in Paris, France, with her partner, a research scientist.