Irish language author Áine Ní Ghlinn has been made the sixth Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s Children’s Literature Laureate. She is the first author who writes exclusively in Irish to be awarded the title.
Ní Ghlinn won the Gradam Reics Carló Book of the Year Award in 2019 for her book Boscadán (Cois Life Teoranta). In 2015, her novel Daideo (Cois Life) won the Honour Award for Fiction at the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards, as well as the Literacy Association of Ireland Book of the Year.
She said that Irish children "deserve the opportunity to engage with Irish language literature for pleasure and not just as schoolwork," adding "it is the high point of my writing career and an incredible honour to be the first Irish language writer awarded the honour".
The role of Ireland's Children's Literature Laureate is an Arts Council initiative, administered by Children’s Books Ireland with the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, and Poetry Ireland.
John Edmund, Arts Council of Northern Ireland chair, said: "The appointment of Áine Ní Ghlinn as Laureate na nÓg comes at a time when poetry and literature are more important than ever, offering solace for children (and their parents) during these uncertain days. Watching children respond to poetry on digital and social media during the current crisis has been a revelation, to which Áine's appointment will undoubtedly add another dimension.
"Áine will act as an ambassador for children's writing, inspiring a new generation of readers and writers to open themselves up to new stories, poems, concepts and ideas. Laureate na nÓg is a unique and important honour, one that will strengthen opportunities for young people across the island of Ireland to engage in high quality children's literature".
She will hold the title until 2022.