Dancing with Kitty Stobling
Patrick Kavanagh exhorted his audience to ‘Come Dance with Kitty Stobling’, where he envisioned his ‘rhyme / Cavorting on mile-high stilts’ across the ‘colourful country’ to the amazement of earthbound onlookers. Kitty Stobling was his zany, carefree muse, leading him on to indulge his spirits in high jinks.
In Dancing with Kitty Stobling, the thirty-two winners of the award instituted in Patrick Kavanagh’s honour respond to his challenge, creating a joyous celebration of the centenary of his birth. Ireland’s longest-running award for a first collection of poems, the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award reveals the thematic variety and stylistic eclecticism of its winners. Each contributor has selected five pages of their own work, allowing readers a rare insight into the poets’ personal preferences. Some – including Roz Cowman, Thomas McCarthy, Aidan Mathews and Eilean Ni Chuilleanain – have offered new, unpublished work.
Encompassing voices as diverse as Pat Boran, Celia de Freine, Paul Durcan, Sinead Morrissey, Peter Sirr and Joseph Woods, Dancing with Kitty Stobling is a mosaic of some of Ireland’s very best poetry.
ANTOINETTE QUINN is a biographer of Patrick Kavanagh and editor of A Poet’s Country: Selected Prose of Patrick Kavanagh (Lilliput 2002) and of Patrick Kavanagh’s Collected Poems (Penguin 2004).