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Frank Ormsby named Ireland Professor of Poetry

President Michael D Higgins and Frank Ormsby at the announcement of Frank Ormsby as The Ireland Professor of Poetry 2019-2022

FRANK Ormsby has been awarded the prestigious position of The Ireland Professor of Poetry.

President Michael D Higgins announced that Prof Ormsby is the eighth person to hold the three-year position.

The role was established in 1998 following the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Seamus Heaney.

It was created by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, Queen's University Belfast and University College Dublin to celebrate the exceptional contribution of Irish poets to literature.

From Enniskillen and educated at Queen's, Prof Ormsby was head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution until 2010.

He was editor of The Honest Ulsterman magazine for 20 years and influential anthologies including Poets from the North of Ireland and A Rage for Order: Poetry of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

He has published seven collections of poems, most recently The Darkness of Snow. His eighth collection The Rain Barrel will be published next month.

"The professorship of Irish poetry is unique. It has done more than any other initiative to raise the profile of poetry in Ireland in the last 20 years, both as a recognition for established poets and a golden opportunity for younger emerging poets," he said.

"The collaboration of three universities and both arts councils is a bold venture and I am honoured and thrilled to be part of it."

President Higgins said Prof Ormsby would assume the roll with intelligence, sensitivity and enthusiasm.

"I am confident that his unmatched talent will cast its own dynamic and distinctive light across his three-year tenure," he added.

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