The winners of this year’s Trócaire and Poetry Ireland competition were announced at a special awards ceremony in the National Library of Ireland on Thursday 26 May.
Established in 2011, the Trócaire and Poetry Ireland competition invites poets to explore a different global development theme each year, and is open to emerging and experienced voices alike, from primary school students to published poets.
The theme for this year’s competition was Forced to Flee, quoting Ahmed, a refugee from Iraq, who said in 2015 that ‘This is our exodus’.
This year’s competition was judged by poet and former competition-winner Jane Clarke, Aidan Clifford, Director of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board's Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire's Trish Groves. Prizes were awarded across six different categories:
Nicki Griffin took 1st place in the Adult Published category for her poem ‘Cast Away’. Nicki’s debut collection of poetry, Unbelonging, was published by Salmon Poetry in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award 2014 for best debut collection. The Skipper and Her Mate (non-fiction) was published by New Island in 2013.
Mairéad Donnellan was awarded 1st place in the Adult Non-Published category for her poem ‘Unto Me is the Journeying’. Mairéad’s poetry has been published in various anthologies and magazines, and she has been shortlisted in national poetry competitions including the Cúirt New Writing Prize and the Doire Press Chapbook Competition. She was winner of the Ledwidge Poetry Prize in 2013.
Louise O’Hora of Mount Temple Comprehensive School in Dublin won the Post-primary Senior category for ‘Power’, and Romy Fehily of Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ in Limerick won the Post-primary Junior category for ‘Drifting’.
Twelve-year-old Patrick Barrett came 1st in the Primary Senior category for ‘No Room at the Inn?’, and John Dunne of Scoil Gharbháin, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford won the Primary Junior category with his poem ‘This is Our Journey Through the Night’.
The winners from all categories read their poems at the awards ceremony at the National Library of Ireland on Thursday 26 May, and can look forward to a range of prizes including a two-week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, tickets to a literary festival, Kindle Fires, a visit by an author to their schools and book tokens.
Trócaire and Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition Winners
Adult Published Poets
1st: Cast Away Nicki Griffin
Nature’s Refuge Afric McGlinchey
The Mountain of Butterflies Angela T. Carr
Adult Non-Published Poets
1st: Unto Me is the Journeying Mairéad Donnellan
Moments of Snow David Keane
Slí Amach Máirín Uí Cheallaigh
1st: Power Louise O’Hora
Wastelands Kate Ní Dhubhchonna
1st: Drifting Romy Fehily
On a Road Going Nowhere Aoife Ní Riain
The Promised Land Michael Lucey
1st: No Room at the Inn? Patrick Barrett
The Things They Left Behind Molly McGibney
Who Am I? Gearóid Cronin
1st: This is Our Journey Through the Night John Dunne
Empty Streets Ciara McCrum
The Journey Elise Carey-McGibney