2021 Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary Awarded to Jessica McKinney

The trustees of the Ireland Chair of Poetry are delighted to announce Jessica McKinney as the recipient of the 2021 Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary. Jessica was nominated by Ireland Professor of Poetry Frank Ormsby and the nomination was unanimously confirmed by the trustees of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Trust.

The Ireland Chair of Poetry bursary is awarded annually to a poet of promise and enables the recipient to reside for a period of four weeks at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan. Jessica is the second poet to be nominated by Professor Ormsby to receive the award.

Speaking in response to the news Jessica said;

‘I am incredibly thankful and deeply grateful to Professor Frank Ormsby and the Board of Trustees for selecting me to receive the 2021 Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary.

The board have been very supportive of my writing career to date, as well as many of my peers, and I have a great admiration for the work they do to support and provide opportunities for upcoming writers across Ireland.

I’m beyond delighted to benefit from this wonderful opportunity, and look forward to visiting the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, immersing myself in the landscape and launching into some new writing.’

Jess Mc Kinney is a poet from Inishowen, Donegal, currently living in Dublin. In 2020, she completed an MA in Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, where she was awarded the Irish Chair of Poetry Student Award. In 2021, she took part in the Dedalus Press Mentorship Programme, and Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Summer School. Her writing has appeared in The Belfield Literary Review, The Moth, The Stinging Fly, Banshee, SAND, Channel, Abridged, The Poetry Jukebox and New Island anthology The New Frontier: Writing from the Irish Border, with upcoming work in The Cormorant. Her debut pamphlet ‘Weeding’ was published with Hazel Press in September 2021, and launched at the London Review Bookshop, where it remained on their Best Seller List for several weeks. It was additionally shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2021, and Saboteur Awards 2022. Most recently she was awarded a place on the Poetry Ireland Introductions Series 2022, as one of the top ten emerging poets in Ireland.