Writer Sara Baume Awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2015

Posted on: 20 October 2015

The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for 2015 was awarded to Sara Baume in recognition of her outstanding achievement as a fiction writer. The announcement was made by the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, at a reception in the Provost’s House [on October 19th].

Pictured L-R: Peter Rooney,  Sara Baume & Trinity Provost

Now in its 39th year, the Rooney Prize is a highly regarded award recognising a body of work by a young Irish writer that shows exceptional promise. Notable past recipients include Bernard Farrell, Neil Jordan, Frank McGuinness, Hugo Hamilton, Anne Enright, Mark O’Rowe and Claire Keegan.

The prestigious award is given annually to an emerging Irish writer under forty years of age, through the generosity of Dr Daniel Rooney, President Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers who recently served as Ambassador of the United States of America to Ireland, and his wife Mrs Patricia Rooney. The award is administered by the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing at the School of English at Trinity and its committee is co-chaired by Professor Gerald Dawe.

Commenting on the author’s achievement, Professor Emeritus, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, said: “Sara Baume’s debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither is a powerful, persuasive evocation of two isolated lives, human and animal. As the narrative unfolds, these lives interact with places and seasons, with people remembered, remotely seen, tentatively or traumatically encountered, to create a whole convincing world, and a mesmerising story.”

The novel was published by Tramp Press.

Sara flew home from her residency with the International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa to receive the award, presented by the Provost of Trinity College.

  • About the Author

Sara Baume was born in Lancashire and grew up in Co. Cork. She studied Fine Art at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design before completing a Master’s in Creative Writing at Trinity College, Dublin. Her short fiction has been published in The Dublin Review, The Moth, The Penny Dreadful, The Stinging Fly and the Irish Independent as part of the Hennessy New Irish Writing series. In 2014 she won the Davy Byrnes Award. .

  • The selection committee for The Rooney Prize 2015, comprised of:

Gerald Dawe poet and essayist, (Professor of English, TCD);  Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, poet, critic and editor (Professor Emerita,  School of English, TCD); Dr Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, novelist and dramatist (Lecturer in Creative Writing, UCD); Dr Carlo Gébler, novelist and dramatist; Dr Riana O’Dwyer , critic, (Department of English, National University of Ireland at Galway) and Jonathan Williams (Literary Agent and Editor).

Media Contact:

Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn, Head of Library Communications | nilochlc@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 4710