Cork Based Scientist Wins Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize

Ballymaloe Poetry Prize logoThis year’s Ballymaloe International Poetry Prize has been won by Tom Moore, with the poem ‘The Astronaut’

Moore, who lives in Midleton and is a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at University College Cork, said he was ‘delighted and honoured to receive the Ballymaloe Poetry Prize’, which is €5,000 plus two nights B&B and dinner for two at Ballymaloe House. ‘This is a major award and is a huge encouragement to me. I have been reading poetry since my mid-twenties but only recently started writing under the guidance of experienced practitioners,’ said Moore who received third prize in another Cork based competition, the Gregory O’Donoghue Poetry Prize, in 2012.

The second prize (€1,000) went to ‘Oranges’, a poem written by Kita Shantiris, a psychologist and CEO of a mental health centre in Los Angeles. Paula Cunnigham, who works part-time as a dentist in Belfast, won the third prize (€500) with her poem ‘Fathom’.

The competition was judged by Leontia Flynn, winner of the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and a Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. She also commended poems by Vona Groarke, Dan O’Brien, Kita Shantiris and Suji Kim, which will appear in the summer issue of The Moth, which runs the prize.

All three winning poets will be attending a special event at Ballymaloe Cookery School on Saturday 30 March to celebrate, and their poems appear in the spring issue of The Moth, available in bookshops and newsagents throughout Ireland.