By Rachel Ireland
Queens has always enjoyed the presence of great poets and writers, be they students or faculty. Padraig Regan looks set to continue this trend.
Padraig Regan, a postgraduate student from the School of English, was one of five recipients of this year’s Eric Gregory award for poetry. The award was given by the Society of Authors to British poets for those under the age of 30 and was founded in 1960 by Dr Eric Gregory “for the encouragement of young poets”. The society itself was founded in 1884 and offers an estimated total of £230,000 worth of prize money across 20 different categories including non-fiction and translation. Previous winners of the Eric Gregory Award for Poetry include famous local poets Michael Longley, Paul Muldoon and Carol Ann Duffy, as well as the late Seamus Heaney.
In addition to writing the winning collection, Padraig is currently at the dissertation stage of the Master’s degree. On winning the award Padraig said, “Winning the Gregory has felt like a great vote of confidence in what I’ve been doing and the money has been a great help. I suppose the next thing would be to just keep writing poems and see if anyone wants to publish them.”
Poetry is an integral practice to the the School of English, which, in 2004 officially opened the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. The centre is now recognised as a leader in not only the production of poetry, but also for its criticism and appreciation, offering its own prize for poetry each year. It holds its own poetry and literary events alongside the School of English and the Crescent Arts centre and is one of Queen’s most prestigious centres.
You can find Padraig’s work on www.lifeboatbelfast.co.uk.