Poetry Aloud Poetry Speaking Competition
Poetry Aloud, an annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary schools, organised by Poetry Ireland and the National Library of Ireland in partnership with University College Cork.
Poetry Aloud is an annual poetry speaking competition open to all post-primary students on the island of Ireland. It is organised by Poetry Ireland and the National Library of Ireland in partnership with University College Cork. Since it was launched in 2006, Poetry Aloud has grown from just a few hundred entries to almost 2,000 entries in 2017.
The late Seamus Heaney was a significant supporter of Poetry Aloud. When he won the David Cohen Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, he nominated Poetry Aloud for the accompanying Clarissa Luard Award, and he remarked, “I truly believe Poetry Aloud deserves all the support it can get, because it promotes literature, and, in particular, poetry, widely, intimately and to inestimable effect. But fundamentally, I choose it because it brings poetry into the memory and affections of the young in a way that will make it a lifelong possession and value”.
Due to Covid-19 challenges, Poetry Aloud 2021 is being organised differently.
To comply with public health guidelines, the first round will consist of a virtual competition in lieu of on-site regional heats.
- Participating teachers to select three students to represent their school from any of the three categories (Junior, Intermediate, Senior)
- Teachers will submit a phone video recording of the three students speaking the prescribed poem from memory (professional recording is not required)
All details required to enter are on the attached information sheet.
The deadline for entries for the 2021 competition (Monday 29 November) has now passed.
|Junior:||1st and 2nd year from Republic of Ireland & years 8, 9 and 10 from Northern Ireland.|
|Intermediate:||3rd and 4th year from Republic of Ireland & years 11 and 12 from Northern Ireland.|
|Senior:||5th and 6th year from Republic of Ireland & Upper and Lower 6th forms from Northern Ireland.|
Subsequent rounds of the competition are to be determined and will be dependent on the entry levels at this stage of the competition.
The National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland reserve the right to postpone any further stages of the competition if entry levels sufficient to the running of a valid competition are not reached.
Watch highlights from Poetry Aloud 2020
Watch highlights from Poetry Aloud 2019
Watch highlights from Poetry Aloud 2018
Watch highlights from Poetry Aloud 2017
Watch highlights from Poetry Aloud 2016
Watch finalists from Poetry Aloud 2013
In 2014 Poetry Aloud partnered with The Works, RTÉ Television’s flagship arts show, and RTÉ Radio One’s The John Murray Show on A Poem for Ireland, The Best-Loved Irish Poem of the Last 100 Years. Finalists from the Poetry Aloud competition appeared on The Works reading a selection of Ireland’s best-loved poems.
In April 2014, Niall Ó hAnnagáin, Poetry Aloud’s 2013 winner, joined poets and musicians including Paul Muldoon and Paul Simon on stage at the National Concert Hall in a special tribute to Seamus Heaney. Fifteen-year-old Niall, who was the youngest person on stage, spoke 'Mid-Term Break' to great acclaim.
|2020||Caitlín Ní Raoghaill, Gaelcholáiste Cheatharlach, Askea, Carlow|
|2019||Ellie Reynolds, Lismore Comprehensive School, Co Armagh|
|2018||Majella Votta, Mercy Secondary School, Co. Kerry|
|2017||Brendan Mac Domhnaill, Coláiste Oiriall, Co. Monaghan|
|2016||Nathan Quinn O’Rawe, De La Salle College, Belfast, Co. Antrim|
|2015||Kevin Fitzpatrick, St. Macartan's College, Co. Monaghan|
|2014||Megan Nar, St Louis Secondary School, Co. Monaghan|
|2013||Niall Ó hAnnagáin from Coláiste Ailigh in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal|
|2012||Shauna Hession, St Michael's Holy Faith Secondary School, Co. Dublin|
|2011||Corey Duffy, Christian Brothers Grammar School, Co. Omagh|
|2010||Aoife Franklyn, St Andrew's College, Co. Dublin|
|2009||John King, Belvedere College, Co. Dublin|
|2008||Samuel McGovern, St Andrew's College, Co. Dublin|
|2007||Niamh Kenneally, Ursuline College, Co. Sligo|
|2006||Katherine Wade, Ursuline College, Co. Sligo|