Eugenia Hannify wins prestigious Cecil Day Lewis Literary Award

Congratulations to Eugenia Hannify in 3rd Year who won first prize for her one act play in the Drama category of the Cecil Day Lewis Literary Awards. Eugenia received her award tonight in the Athy Community Arts Centre. Well done Eugenia!

Information about theaward

Cecil Day Lewis Literary Awards competition is an annual event run by Athy Heritage Centre Museum. It is open to approx 150 schools in Co Kildare both primary and secondarywhich includes Special needs category from children and young adults between the ages of 6 - 18years. Individual entries are also accepted.

This prestigious award for any individual to receive, offers students and individuals the opportunity to participate in commemorating the internationally acclaimed poet, Cecil Day Lewis, born in 1904 in Ballintubbert, Athy. He was a Professor of Poetry at Oxford and in 1966, he was awarded Poet Laureate.

The aim of these awards is to foster creativity and explore the power of the word through self-expression, as the Stories, Poems and One Act Plays can be on any subject. The Cecil Day Lewis Literary Awards opens up the literary world to students and individuals alike and could be the starting point for our future poets, playwrights and authors such as yourself. The impact of these Awards far outreaches the class room; aspects like social integration, self-expression and family involvement are all very much a part of these awards.  This is very evident on the night of the Awards Ceremony with the attendance of parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, local authors and poets.

Profile of Cecil Day-Lewis

Cecil Day-Lewis, born in 1904 was the son of a Church of Ireland Minister, then living in Ballinturbbert House, Athy, Co. Kildare.  He was educated in Sherborne School and then Wadham College, Oxford.

He was a schoolmaster until 1935 and during that time his restless intellect led him into writing detective fiction.  He wrote under the pen name Nicholas Blake, introducing the detective Nigel Strangeways in A Question of Proof, which was followed by twenty popular and successful stories.

Given the political and social turmoil between the wars years, like many intellectuals of his day, he leaned more and more towards Marxism, joining the Communist party in 1936.  He edited the Socialist Symposium the Mind in Chains, which took place in 1937.

His frequent broadcasts were a joy to him and he enjoyed giving recitals and lectures in schools and colleges.  He sat on committees, judged awards and his enthusiasm embraced children’s stories for radio and he wrote a number of children’s’ books including the popular Poetry for You.