Contemporary Irish poet Paul Durcan will be honoured with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.
Durcan will be presented with the award on Wednesday 26th November at a ceremony in Dublin. He will join past recipients of the award, including Man Booker Prize winner John Banville, Maeve Binchy, and Nobel prize winning poet Seamus Heaney.
The Board of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards said of Durcan: “Few poets have managed to reconcile popular success with the careful cultivation of their art as successfully. Throughout a career spanning five decades, Durcan has given us fierce satirical poems, which challenge the orthodoxies of materialism, sexism, authoritarianism, the Church, and the violence of nationalism. His poetry has been described as Whitmanesque for the way in which the everyday lived life, current affairs, politics and love are made to seem congenial bedfellows.”
It also praised his public readings and his sales, saying that the Lifetimes Achievement Award is designed to honour booksellers and “few writers have been a greater friend to Irish booksellers than Paul Durcan”.
Durcan was born in Dublin in 1944, publishing his first collection O Westport in the Light of Asia Minor (Harvill Press) in 1975. He was awarded the Irish American Cultural Institute Poetry Award in 1989 and his 1990 collection Daddy, Daddy (Blackstaff Press Ltd) won the Whitbread Poetry Award. He was joint winner of the 1995 Heinemann Award. His latest collection of poetry is 2012’s Praise in Which I Live and Move and Have My Being (Harvill Secker).
For the fourth year running, RTÉ Television will be broadcasting the highlights of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards ceremony on RTÉ One on Saturday 29th November.