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photo of event with accommodation at kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland
Cecil Day Lewis Literary awards

photo of event with accommodation at kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland


The competition consists of students entering under the various sections:- Short Story, Poetry and One Act Play.

The competition, organised by Athy Heritage Centre-Museum and sponsored by Kildare County Council and Athy Town Council, celebrates the connection between the celebrated poet and the South Kildare area.

C.D Lewis was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1951-1956. A talented and humorous man, he wrote in An Italian Visit, parodies on poets ranging from Hardy to Dylan Thomas. His autobiography was published in 1960, and in 1966 he was awarded Poet Laureate.

photo of event with accommodation at kanes pub bed and breakfast, leinster street, athy, county kildare, ireland

Day-Lewis was born in Ballintubbert, County Laois, Ireland. He was the son of the Reverend Frank Cecil Day-Lewis]and Kathleen Squires. After Day-Lewis's mother died in 1906, he was brought up in London by his father, with the help of an aunt, spending summer holidays with relatives in Wexford. Day-Lewis continued to regard himself as Anglo-Irish for the remainder of his life, though after the declaration of the Republic of Ireland in 1948 he chose British rather than Irish citizenship, on the grounds that 1940 had taught him where his deepest roots lay.[citation needed] He was educated at Sherborne School and at Wadham College, Oxford, from which he graduated in 1927.
In 1928 he married Mary King, the daughter of a Sherborne master (i.e. teacher), and worked as a schoolmaster in three schools. During the 1940s he had a long and troubled love affair with the novelist Rosamond Lehmann. His second marriage was to actress Jill Balcon.
During the Second World War he worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information, an institution satirised by George Orwell in his dystopian Nineteen Eighty-Four, but equally based on Orwell's experience of the BBC.
After the war he joined the publisher Chatto & Windus as a director and senior editor. In 1946 Day-Lewis was a lecturer at Cambridge University, publishing his lectures in The Poetic Image (1947). In 1951 he married the actress Jill Balcon, daughter of Michael Balcon. He later taught poetry at Oxford, where he was Professor of Poetry from 1951-1956.[3] From 1962-1963 Day-Lewis was the Norton Professor at Harvard University.
Day-Lewis's two marriages yielded four children] including Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, food writer and journalist Tamasin Day-Lewis, and TV critic and writer Sean Day-Lewis, who wrote a biography of his father, C. Day Lewis: An English Literary Life (1980).
Day-Lewis was chairman of the Arts Council Literature Panel, vice-president of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Member of the Irish Academy of Letters and a professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London.
Day-Lewis died from pancreatic cancer on 22 May 1972 in the Hertfordshire home of Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard, where he and his wife were staying. He was a great admirer of Thomas Hardy, and he had arranged to be buried as close as possible to the author's grave in Stinsford churchyard. His epitaph reads: "Shall I be gone long? / For ever and a day / To whom there belong? / Ask the stone to say / Ask my song"


Tourist Information Office

The Tourist Information Office in Athy is located in the Heritage Centre and Museum located a few minutes stroll from Kane's Pub Bed and Breakfast in Emily Square in the heart of this Heritage Town.

Athy Heritage Centre has video footage of the 1903 race. Every year in June, the Gordon Bennett Vintage Car Rally is held in Ireland around the original circuit.


Overnight accommodation for events taking place at Ballintubbert House and Gardens is available with rooms to let at Kane's Bed and Breakfast located a short distance from the historic house located close to Athy, County Kildare, Ireland.


Tourist Attractions

Stay a little longer in the Athy area and explore what the region has to offer.


Athy Events Calendar


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