Co. Waterford Poet on Irish Book Awards Shortlist for Irish Poem of the Year

Clodagh Beresford DunneIt was announced at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, last Thursday, Nov 2nd, at the unveiling of the 2017 shortlist, that Dungarvan poet, Clodagh Beresford Dunne, features on a list of four poets nominated for the Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year category, at The Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards.

Now in its twelfth year, the Irish Book Awards were founded to celebrate and promote Irish writing, to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a huge community passionate about books and writing – readers, authors, bookseller, publishers and librarians – to recognise and celebrate the very best of Irish writing talent.

The public are invited to vote for their favourite poem, before midnight on the 21st November, and the winner will be announced at the RTE-broadcast Awards ceremony, at the end of November, during which UK writer David Walliams will be presented with the 2017 International Recognition Award.

Clodagh Beresford Dunne, whose nominated poem “Seven Sugar Cubes” appeared in the The Irish Times last April, has been the recipient of a number of literature awards and bursaries from the Waterford City and County Arts Office and Art Links, and in 2016 she received the Arts Council of Ireland Emerging-Writer Award.

Her poems have appeared in Irish and international print and online journals in Ireland, the UK and the USA.

In April, 2016, as part of Culture Ireland’s International Programme, Clodagh delivered a series of readings, interviews and lectures, in universities in Pennsylvania, and in February, 2017, she participated in a cross-continental, five-female poet reading and discussion panel at the AWP Conference and Book Fair in Washington, DC.

Clodagh holds degrees in English and in Law, and is a qualified solicitor, having trained and practiced in general, corporate and criminal law in Dublin. She is also a qualified Public Speaking teacher (LAMDA) and during her university years was deeply involved in international intervarsity debating, representing Ireland on three occasions at the World Universities Debating Championships, including those hosted by Princeton University, NJ.

Born and raised in a local newspaper family (The Dungarvan Observer), and educated in the Presentation Convent, Dungarvan and Rockwell College, Cashel, her writing was first committed to print at the age of 8 and, in the past, she held various roles as journalist, legal advisor and subeditor there, and was also a member of the NUJ.

Described by Irish poet, Thomas McCarthy as “A writer of great seriousness and purpose,” Beresford Dunne’s poetry has been hailed as “Announcing a new vision to us, a new vortex of energy that localises human experience and domesticates genius.” The award winning American poet, Jan Beatty is quoted as saying “Clodagh Beresford Dunne’s poetry is stellar, riveting and from the heart. Hers is a necessary voice, one which brings courage and hope to her readers and listeners.”

Clodagh’s poems straddle a variety of universal themes including grief and loss, the frantic pace of parenthood, modern motherhood and womanhood, emigration, suicide, as well as international issues of environmental activism and governance.

She lives in Dungarvan with her husband and four young children, and is presently assembling her first full collection of poetry, for publication. For more information see:

To vote for Irish Poem of the Year, visit:


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