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Westport poet on Pigott Prize shortlist at Listowel Writers’s Festival

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Westport poet on Pigott Prize shortlist at Listowel Writers’s Festival

Áine Ryan

ACCLAIMED Westport poet, Ger Reidy’s third collection, ‘Before Rain’, has been shortlisted for the Pigott Poetry Prize to be announced at this weekend’s Listowel Writer’s Festival. Now in its second year, the adjudicators for the €5,000 prize are John Boland, literary critic and poet, and Gillian Clarke, a Welsh poet. The other nominated poets are Ciaran Carson for ‘From Elsewhere’, Caoilinn Hughes for ‘Gathering Evidence’, Paul Muldoon for ‘One Thousand Things Worth Knowing’ and ‘The Rooms’ by Peter Sirr.      
Speaking to The Mayo News, Ger Reidy said: “I am very honoured to be included with Paul Muldoon and Ciaran Carson, Peter Sirr and Caoilinn Hughes in the list and am receiving very positive feedback from people who have read the book.”
Reidy’s third collection, Before Rain was published last year by Arlen House and follows the success of his debut work, ‘Pictures from a Reservation’ and his 2010 ‘Drifting Under the Moon’ (both Dedalus).  
In a Poetry Ireland review, Benjamin Keating writes: “Reidy’s poems fizzle like fireworks... [he] makes much out of his Mayo locales, but not for reasons of identity or belonging... more as building blocks for direct lyrical statements which often leave the reader astounded at how much philosophic weight Reidy can give a short 15-20 line poem... Reidy’s poems echo the grounded concision of Larkin... Perhaps a happier comparison would be RS Thomas whose poems attain an astonishing lyrical amplitude out of the slightest of rural subject matters, as Reidy’s do here.”
The Pigott Poetry prize is supported by industrialist and philantrophist Mr Mark Pigott, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the global truck company, Paccar Incorporated.
The Listowel Writer’s Festival will be launched tomorrow Wednesday by Irish writer and Man Booker Prize winner, Anne Enright.

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