Awardees of the 2023 Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award are announced

3rd March 2023

Poetry Ireland in association with Stanford University and Trinity College Dublin are delighted to announce  Otto Goodwin from Ireland and Hua Xi from the United States as awardees of the Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award 2023.

The awardees were announced today at Ennis Book Club Festival in Co. Clare by Liz Kelly, Director of Poetry Ireland during the “Meeting Eavan Boland” event. The award was established in 2021 as a celebration of poet Eavan Boland.   The award comprises on site residencies at Trinity College Dublin and Stanford University respectively, a bursary and mentoring for an early career poet from Ireland and the United States.

Otto Goodwin, who is currently studying English in University College Cork will travel to California in May whilst Hua Xi, based between California and New York will come to Dublin for their residency in the autumn. This award has been made possible with the generous support of The Arts Council, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Embassy, Dublin. 

The judges for the 2023 Award were Professor of English (Emerita) at Trinity College Dublin and Saoi of Aosdána, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and Stanford University’s Mohr Visiting Poet for 2023 - 24, Diane Seuss.

Director of Poetry Ireland, Liz Kelly, said, “Eavan Boland was a champion of new voices, she cherished inclusivity and ferociously pushed open doors for countless poets. She argued that space for new voices must be made and we’re delighted that this mission continues through the Eavan Boland Emerging Poet award. Congratulations to Otto and Hua Xi, we very much look forward to seeing how their work develops, with the support of their mentors. And a big thank you to everyone who entered, and to our two judges, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Diane Seuss.”

The Award is open to emerging poets who have not yet published a first full collection, but are working towards it, or a performance equivalent.

Of the entries for this year’s award, Diane Seuss said “these expansive, artful, and challenging manuscripts convince me that poetry is anything but dead. I admire the range of what these poets are bringing to the page, locating themselves, like a bead on a string, between tradition and experimentation, and like Eavan Boland herself, between history and a singular interiority. I was intrigued by the degree of hybridity in these poems, many of which explore the hinge between poem and memoir, the novel, the dramatic monologue, the treatise, and typographical art.”   She lauds Hua Xi’s clarity of diction and her surrealist, though pensive, imagination. 

Judge Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin said about recipient Otto Goodwin, “Goodwin combines a range of ideas, confident use of language and depth of vision to create poems that I find quite unique. Genuinely an emerging poet, the talent and intelligence displayed at such an early stage gives me real hope and curiosity about their future.”

The Eavan Boland Special Issue of Poetry Ireland Review, launched with the Boland/Casey family, is available for purchase now from and selected book stores. 



Hua Xi (she/they) is a writer and artist. Their work has appeared in The New Republic, The Nation, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. They previously won the Boston Review Poetry Contest, was named the 2022 Poet-to-Come Scholar by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, and received a 2023 NEA Fellowship in Poetry. They help edit interviews at Guernica and read poetry for The Drift. 

Otto Goodwin (he/they) is a Cork-based poet, currently studying English at UCC. Their poetry has been published in Cyphers magazine, the Irish Independent, and the Quarryman journal and they have performed at events such as Over the Edge, Pride in Print, and the Cúirt New Writers showcase. Their poetry is their attempt to blur the boundaries between humans and the landscape, finding kinship and solidarity in the natural world.