Home » Discover St John's

St John’s staff member wins poetry prize

Adam (second from the left) and the judges, Leontia Flynn, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Conor O’Callaghan pictured at No Alibis Bookstore, Belfast, which hosted the prize-giving. Image credit: Seamus Heaney Centre

Adam Crothers, Special Collections Assistant at St John’s has won the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for his debut poetry collection Several Deer, published by Carcanet.

The Prize is awarded by the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, which is part of Queen's University, Belfast.

It is given to the author who the judges consider to have the best full first collection of poetry published in the UK or Ireland in the preceding year. It is supported by Glucksman Ireland House, New York’s University Centre for Irish and Irish-American Studies, and one of the top-ranked academic Irish Studies programs in the United States.

Adam is the first winner of the prize to have been born in Northern Ireland. As the winner he has been awarded £5000 and invited to read at Glucksman Ireland House, New York University, for the annual Tom Quinlan Lecture in Poetry.

Earlier in the year, Adam also won the Shine/Strong Poetry Award 2017 for Several Deer. The collection is comprised of over 60 poems on the themes of destruction, consumption, misogyny, gods, sex, failure and music. The poems have a range of influences from Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey to Emily Dickinson and George Herbert and are described by the publishers as skilful with an “air of verbal mischief”.

Another staff member, Library Projects Assistant Rebecca Watts, and Alex Wong, Research Fellow in English Literature were also shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize.