from left to right: Rachel Walton, Ashley Bedford, Brandon Fury, Hannah Backus, Colleen Hennigan, Ariel Hafeman, Kevin Haworth, Chase McGuire, Michele Leonard, Nina Padolf. seated: Karla Lamb, Angela Cornelius
“It was an honor to be there. That was further highlighted when the head of the Dublin City Public Libraries mentioned the Carlow MFA program in her comments from the stage. I felt very welcomed.” — Michele Leonard, MFA Creative Nonfiction Candidate
The International DUBLIN Literary Award is just what it sounds like: a prize granted for a novel written in or translated to English, sponsored by the Dublin City council, the government of the city of Dublin and administered by the Dublin City Public Libraries. It is no small prize, either — the author wins €100,000 and a trophy (or, if it’s a book translated into English, the author gets 3/4 and the translator gets 1/4). That’s the largest prize in the world for a book in English.
Carlow University has an MFA program unlike any other — students spend four weeks in intensive residencies. One two-week residency takes place on Carlow’s Oakland campus, where students work closely with influential mentors like poet Jan Beatty and NEA Fellowship recipient Kevin Haworth. The second two-week residency takes students to Dublin where they meet with Irish faculty such as Carlo Gébler, a true giant of the Irish literary scene and author of everything from screenplays to short stories.
On Thursday, June 9th, the International DUBLIN Literary Award was announced, and Carlo Gébler, one of only six judges for the prize, was there. Carlow’s current MFA cohort were in Ireland at the time and were invited to attend the ceremony. The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Críona Ní Dhálaigh, presided over the ceremony and addressed the crowd in both Irish (Gaelic) and English.
Carlo Gébler speaks to the media at the 2016 DUBLIN Literary Award ceremony