Playwright Marina Carr receives Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama

By Aaron Gallagher

Playwright Marina Carr.

Acclaimed Irish playwright and DCU lecturer Marina Carr has been awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize for Drama from Yale University.

Writer of more than a dozen critically acclaimed works, Carr is one of just eight English language writers to be awarded the prize, worth €156,926.

She will be conferred with the award at an international literary festival at Yale University from September 13-15th.

Carr is the Creative Director of the university’s MA in Theatre Studies programme and has written numerous acclaimed works, including Bog of Cats (1998), On Raftery’s Hill (2000), Ariel (2002), Woman and Scarecrow (2007), The Cordelia Dream (2008), 16 Possible Glimpses (2011) and Hecuba (2015).

She has received the Puterbaugh Fellowship (2012), the E. M. Forster Award (2001) and a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (1997), while her adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina ran in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin during December and January.

Born in Dublin in 1964, Carr was raised in Tullamore by her parents, playwright Hugh Carr and poet Maura Eibhlín Breathneach.

Recently, Carr delivered a reading of her work That Trojan Queen which describes the life of Hecuba, the fabled Queen of Troy at TEDx DCU in The Helix last November.

A member of Aosdána, she has also received the Macaulay Fellowship, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the Irish Times Theatre Award.

The Windham-Campbell prizes were established in 2013 as a gift from American novelist Donald Windham in memory of his late partner of four decades Sandy M. Campbell.

They are administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and are awarded to English language writers in the areas of drama, fiction and non-fiction.

On receiving the award, Carr said: “Lady luck is shining on me today. My thanks and appreciation to those involved in selecting my work.”

The other recipients of the 2017 Windham-Campbell Prizes were André Alexis and Erna Brodber (fiction), Maya Jasanoff and Ashleigh Young (non-fiction), Ali Cobby Eckermann and Carolyn Forché (poetry) and Ike Holter (drama).

Aaron Gallagher