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NI poets scoop awards while Tele's Ruth is shortlisted

By Claire McNeeley

Acclaimed poet Maureen O'Boyle is the proud recipient of the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Travel Award.

It represents another string to the bow for the Co Tyrone schoolteacher who has already garnered a number of literary awards, including the Strokestown International Poetry Prize.

Married to freelance broadcaster and Belfast Telegraph writer Malachi O'Doherty, she has a BA in English from Dublin's Trinity College and an MA in Creative Writing from The Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen's University Belfast. A fellow winner is Ballycastle-born poet and writer Cahal Dallat who snapped up the CP Snow Memorial Fund Award. Named in honour of the late novelis, it was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System for the benefit of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center to pay travel expenses for scholars doing research at the Ransom Center.

Earlier this year, Dallat took home the 2017 Keats-Shelley prize for poetry for his poem Giant, written about his friend Chris Greener, who died in 2015 and who was, for more than 40 years, Britain's tallest man.

Belfast Telegraph columnist Ruth Dudley Edwards, meanwhile, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize for books for her non-fiction work, The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of the Irish Republic.

Also on the shortlist for the same award for his book Citizen Clem on Labour's post-war prime minister Clement Attlee, is Professor John Bew, from Belfast, the son of Professor Paul Bew of Queen's, and Professor Greta Jones of the University of Ulster.

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