Dublin-born Playwright Marina Carr has been awarded one of the world’s richest literary prizes, the Windham-Campbell Prize, worth $165,000 (€155,000).
The Windham-Campbell prizes celebrate exceptional writers of fiction, non-fiction and drama working in the English language with a $165,000 individual prize to support their writing; as well as Carr, this year's recipients include Jamaican writer Erna Brodber and Aboriginal Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann.
Established in 2003 with an endowment from the late novelist and memorist Donald Windham in memory of his partner of 40 years, Sandy M Campbell, the prize aims to afford writers the financial opportunity to concentrate on their work; previous winners include another Irish playwright, Abby Spallen, and this year's Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay (for Moonlight), Tarell Alvin McCraney.
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Born in Dublin and raised in rural Co. Offaly, Carr’s plays often channel the language of her native midlands, while drawing inspiration from classical Greek tragedies. Following her theatrical breakthrough with The Mai (1994), her works to date have included such modern classics as Portia Coughlan (1996), By The Bog Of Cats (1998) and On Rafferty's Hill (2000). In recent years, she's expanded her formidable oeuvre into opera (with a new version of Verdi's Rigoletto) and adaptation - her epic take on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was a box-office success at the Abbey over the Christmas season.
Listen: Marina Carr talks to RTÉ Arena about Anna Karenina:
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Currently a lecturer in Dublin City University’s School of English, Carr is currently penning new works for the Abbey and London's Tricycle Theatre.
“Lady luck is shining on me today. My thanks and appreciation to those involved in selecting my work,” Carr told The Irish Times upon the announcement. The awards will be conferred in September at an international literary festival at Yale, celebrating the honored Windham-Campbell Prize writers.