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From an industrial school to Exceptional Person Award for Offaly poet

   22 Jul 2016

Renowned poet, Connie Roberts, is to receive an Exceptional Offaly Person Award at this year’s Tullamore Show

Renowned poet, Connie Roberts, is to receive an Exceptional Offaly Person Award at this year’s Tullamore Show & AIB National Livestock Show. After growing up in one of the county’s infamous industrial schools, she emigrated from Ireland to the United States in 1983, and now lives in New York.

Her poetry has been published in journals across the world, and has received multiple awards, including the Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship Award in 2016.

In 2015, the New York Times did a profile on her, saying of her work: “In her vivid recounting of a childhood spent in one of Ireland’s notorious industrial schools, truth hides behind no masquerade of metaphors. Roberts honors children, holds adults accountable, and finds acceptance, all with a reportorial rigor that, through her soaring language and big-hearted vision, achieves poetic art… This is the poetry of rock-hard experience. It will skin your soul.”

She currently teaches creative writing at Hofstra University, New York and is part of Hofstra’s Irish Studies program.