Thomas Kinsella to receive Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award

Thomas Kinsella to receive Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award

Irish poet Thomas Kinsella, 90, has been chosen as the recipient of 2018's Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award.

The lifetime award means Kinsella will be admitted to the An Post Irish Book Award’s Hall of Fame in the company of previous winners including John Banville and Seamus Heaney.

Kinsella was born and educated in Inchicore in Dublin and is also a translator, editor and publisher. His first book was The Starlit Eye, published by Liam Miller's Dolmen Press in 1952, after which followed a number of collections (Poems, 1956; Another September, 1958; Downstream, 1962; Nightwalker and Other Poems, 1967; New Poems, 1973; and One, and Other Poems, 1979). More recently Carcanet has also published 15 collections of his poetry, including The Dual Tradition, Prose Occasions and his Collected Poems.

Translations of early Irish texts that Kinsella produced have included The Táin (Dolmen, 1969), illustrated by Louis le Brocquy, and an anthology of Irish poetry, An Duanaire: 1600-1900, Poems of the Dispossessed (1981), translated by Kinsella and edited by Seán Ó Tuama.

In 1972 he founded his own publishing company, Peppercanister Press, that he used to publish his own work. According to the prize, the Peppercanister project ran to 30 booklets and represents "one of the great bodies of work in all of Irish poetry".

Commenting on the honour, Kinsella said: "I'm happy to accept this Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of a career exceptional with the poetry of a lifetime, with the Tain, and the presentation of Ireland's dual tradition - experiencing the loss of a language - in poetry."

The An Post Irish Book Awards recognise Irish writers across the publishing spectrum, extending to more than 15 categories overall. RTÉ Television will be broadcasting highlights of the An Post Irish Book Awards on RTÉ One at 10.15pm on 29th November.