Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Jim Irwin, 1936-2009, Friend Of Young Writers

Friends, Colleagues React;
[following photos]

-- Photos Courtesy of Connecticut Young Writers Trust
Jim Irwin, right, at the Litchfield Inn several years ago with friend and colleague Franz Douskey, the poet and writer.

Irwin founded the Young Writers Trust in 1998. Douskey, an original board member of The Trust, has also served as President of IMPAC University in Punta Gorda, FL.

Today, the Connecticut Young Writers competition continues to affirm the work of young poets and writers while celebrating their accomplishments. The Young Writers Trust has given more than $182,000 to Connecticut’s best young writers since 1998.

IMPAC Chairman Jim Irwin and retired Connecticut State University System Chancellor William Cibes expanded the Young Writers Program from Litchfield County to cover the entire state in 2000.

IMPAC, a leading global productivity firm, sponsors the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, which, at 100,000 euros, is the largest in the world for a single work of fiction.

Jim Irwin was a great friend to young writers all over the world. He was a fierce and relentless advocate for free expression.

Within the persona of a vigilant planner and a cool strategist was a warm heart. In addition to his legacy as a literary philanthropist and advocate, there are many good deeds that will remain known only to those he helped.

-- A.T.

Jim Irwin at Writers Workshop with Luanne Rice, the novelist.

Jim Irwin in 2001 photo with retired Eastern Connecticut State University Professor Bruce Clements, retired CSU System Chancellor Bill Cibes, State Poetry Champion Amy Ma and State Prose Champion Candi Deschamps.

Jim Irwin with 2002 Hartford County Prose Champion Daniel Golden.

Jim Irwin With 2002 State Poetry Champion Emily Madsen and Bill Cibes.

Jim Irwin With 2001 New Haven County Poetry Champion Martha Kwasnik

Pattis, Douskey Talk About Jim Irwin

Register Citizen


"[He] was a brilliant businessman, but more than that, he was passionate about the mind’s ability to transform the world," attorney Norman Pattis said. "His work sponsoring competitions for young writers together with his sponsorship of a major literary award were proof positive that he stood by his commitments. His loss is devastating to me. I already miss the time we spent talking about books, the world and the quirkiness of the human soul."

"He was a staunch supporter of free speech and free expression," Franz Douskey said. Douskey, a poet and writer, serves on the board of the Young Writers Trust, which Irwin established to celebrate the works of young writers throughout the state.

"He was an incredibly well-rounded, generous individual," Douskey said. "He cared a lot about people."

From A Parent Of A Young Writer:

So sorry, he accomplished greatness and goodness!

-- Evan Cooper

“He was a powerful intellect and a very passionate man ... It was hard not to love him if you got to know him.”

1 comment:

Eric said...

Mr. Irwin was a true genius. I will always have the deepest admiration and respect for him. I consider it a privilege to have been able to work with and learn from him. He was a great contributor to the world in various fields.

The world lost a GREAT man.

Eric Eraly