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2021 Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition

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Kate Dempsey

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Get writing – the 2021 Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition is now open to entries!

Adults and children alike can get creative and enter a poem or poems into this year’s Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition, which is open to entries until Friday 7 May 2021. 

This year marks the eleventh year of the annual competition, which uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. Adults and children, through their schools, can enter the competition and poems in English or Irish are welcome in all six categories, with spoken word pieces actively encouraged as well as poems. 

The theme for this year is ‘Pathways to Peace’. It explores the effects that conflict has on people’s lives and how, with pathways to peace and the support of others, they can try to put the pain of conflict behind them and begin again in their lives. 

Poets of all ages are encouraged to explore the theme, from a local to global perspective. 

Niamh O’Donnell, Director of Poetry Ireland, said it had been encouraging to see so many entries submitted for the 2020 competition, especially during a difficult lockdown year. 

“We’re delighted to be launching this year’s competition and to seeing the entries coming in over the next couple of months,” she said. “The judges are always bowled over with the creativity and sentiment that writers weave into their poems, and the really high quality of poems submitted each year.”

This year’s judging panel includes Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence, Catherine Ann Cullen, Aidan Clifford, retired former director of the Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire’s Joanne McGarry. 

The competition is always free to enter and past participants include Eileen Casey, David Mohan Angela T. CarrAfric McGlinchey, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Jane Clarke, Eleanor Hooker and Joseph Horgan amongst many others.

The attractive prizes on offer include for the adult categories: a choice of a two-week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, or a tablet or time in a recording studio to the value of €300 (for spoken word poets) plus a year’s subscription to Poetry Ireland Review.

Winners of the post-primary and primary categories win a Kindle Fire plus a visit by an author to the winner’s school (to be scheduled post-Covid-19 restrictions). 

For more information and to enter, visit https://www.poetryireland.ie/education/trocaire-poetry-ireland-poetry-competition/

Ajak with her son Ngor (8 months) and Awut with her granddaughter Nyajima (2), who feature on the Trócaire box for 2021. Photo credit: Achuoth Deng
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