Patrick James Errington wins Pollard International Poetry Prize

Posted on: 11 April 2024

Patrick James Errington has been announced as the winner of the 2024 John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize for his debut poetry collection the swailing. He was presented with the prize at an award ceremony in Trinity College Dublin on Thurs, April 11, 2024.

This is the sixth year of the prize, which is awarded annually for an outstanding debut collection of poetry in the English language. 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 at Trinity.

Patrick James Errington

Patrick James Errington is a Canadian-born poet, translator, and multidisciplinary researcher. Patrick currently lives in Scotland where he is a lecturer at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures in the University of Edinburgh.

Previous winners of the prize are Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Gail McConnell, Diane Louie, Isabel Galleymore and Hannah Sullivan.

Commenting on his win Patrick James Errington said:

“I really have no words to describe the thrill of finding my little book alongside the previous winners of the John Pollard International Poetry Prize and amongst those daring, electrifying and luminous works on this year’s shortlist.

“I am unspeakably grateful to Stephen Vernon, Provost Linda Doyle, and Trinity College Dublin for continuing to value and celebrate that little, invaluable labour of poetry, and to the judges for the time, care, and generosity they brought to reading these collections. It took me the best part of ten years to find the words for the swailing – give me another ten and maybe – maybe – I’ll be able to articulate what an honour this is to me.”

Stephen Vernon, Patrick James Errington and Provost Linda Doyle.

Announcing the 2024 winner, chair of the judging panel, Professor Eoin McNamee, Director of the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre, said:

“Along with my fellow judging panellists I am delighted to award the John Pollard International Poetry Prize to this remarkable first collection.  You fall through the zig-zagging synapses of the work, the spiralling fractals. You fall past Canadian skies full of an unspeakable history of snow, the ice fields of family and illness, past Einstein and the Tao, promises kept and broken, cancer, the forensics of the self. It is work of remarkable virtuosity which always grounds itself in emotion, in the hard-earned poetics of the heart.”

The patron of the John Pollard Foundation Stephen Vernon, who named the foundation in memory of his grandfather John Pollard, congratulated the winner on his achievement:

“I am delighted to have Patrick James Errington as the winner of this year’s John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize. The judges have picked an outstanding example of emerging literary talent.  Patrick’s poems are evocative, and his voice is distinctive. I am thrilled to add Patrick’s name to our prestigious list of prize-winning poets.”

More about the winner: Patrick James Errington is a Canadian-born poet, translator, and multidisciplinary researcher. His poems have won numerous awards and been published and anthologised worldwide, as well as in the chapbooks Glean (ignitionpress, 2018) and Field Studies (Clutag Press, 2019), and in the collection the swailing (McGill-Queens University Press, 2023), which was a finalist for Poetry Book of the Year in the Saltire Society’s Scottish National Book Awards. His translation work includes, among others, the French edition of PJ Harvey’s The Hollow of the Hand (Editions l’Age d’Homme, 2017) and the English translation of E.M. Cioran’s Notebooks, forthcoming from New York Review Books. Patrick currently lives in Scotland where he is a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.

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