Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award - opens 24.09.21

The Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award is an award for two emerging poets, one from Ireland and one from the United States. An initiative of Poetry Ireland and Stanford University, the Award has been made possible with the generous support of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Ireland. 

Eavan was a relentless advocate for emerging poets, particularly those whose work risked being overlooked. She was a poet revolutionary, a searing talent, and a formidable artist. To her peers, students, and readers, she was an exemplar of courage, generosity, and unfailing friendship.   

Eavan argued ferociously that space for new voices must be made, and diversity in all its forms must be cherished, if we wished to safeguard the future of poetry. In her editorial for Poetry Ireland Review 125, she memorably wrote, "the margin re-defines the centre, and not the other way around. But that margin has to be visible, has to be vocal, has to be sustained by new critiques as well as new poems.’"

Despite her passing on 27 April 2020, Eavan Boland’s presence remains as tangible as ever. Her impact on the rising generation of Irish and American poets continues to grow, as more and more readers discover her work, and begin writing poems of their own. The poets she personally mentored continue to write and publish new work, and themselves teach a new generation. These floods of emerging poets are now stepping into a world shaped by her seismic legacy on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The Eavan Boland Award will create an annual opportunity for two emerging poets.  Each poet will receive €1,700, as well as three intensive mentoring sessions by leading poets over the course of four months (adjudicators and mentors will be announced in August 2021). 

Applications open on 24 September 2021 (Eavan’s 77th birthday) and will close on 5 November at 12 noon.   

Applicants should have a demonstrated commitment to writing poetry. This may include: 

- a strong track record of publication in journals and/or received awards 

- details of live performances or readings 

- examples of workshops or courses taken 

This opportunity is for emerging poets who have not yet published a full first collection, but are working towards it, or a performance equivalent. 

(being published in chapbooks / pamphlets does not exclude an applicant). 

Applications will be accepted via Submittable. Submission guidelines will be made available on the Stanford University and Poetry Ireland websites from 1 August 2021.  

Artists will be asked to complete an online form supplying a short biography, a 500-word cover letter on their work, their suitability for the award, and the unique perspective they are writing from, and five pages of poetry. We particularly welcome applications from under-represented voices and communities. 

Announcement of the awardees will be the week of 6 December 2021. 

Who can Apply
Irish poets or poets living in Ireland and US poets or poets living in the U.S. 

A transatlantic event will be held with the awardees, their mentors, and other guest artists on 27 April 2022. Details TBC.