Poetry Aloud is the annual poetry speaking competition open to all students attending second level schools on the island of Ireland. Established in 2007, Poetry Aloud is run by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland and supported by University College Cork.
The competition has involved and engaged with thousands of students in its lifetime in celebration of the joy of speaking and listening to poetry. In 2021, Poetry Aloud adapted to the restrictions used during the pandemic by successfully taking place virtually.
29 students from schools in Antrim, Armagh, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Laois, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Tipperary, Tyrone, Waterford and Wicklow participated in the Poetry Aloud 2021 virtual final.
We wish to congratulate all the students who participated and to especially to those who reached the final.
Poetry Aloud 2021, Virtual Competition Results
- Winner: Tirzah Hutchinson Edgar, The High School, Rathgar, Dublin
- Runner-Up: Zoe Ncube, Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry
- Winner: Charley Fitzgerald, Presentation Secondary School, Waterford
- Runner-Up: Jake O’Loughlin, The High School, Rathgar, Dublin.
- Winner: Alice Mackle, St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, Co Tyrone
- Joint Runners-Up: Jack Monaghan, De La Salle College, Belfast, Co. Antrim & Mikayla O’Sullivan, Presentation Secondary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Overall Winner 2021:
- Alice Mackle, St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, Co Tyrone
The adjudicators for Poetry Aloud 2021, Luke Morgan, (Poet and Author); Catherine Ann Cullen, (Poet, Short-story writer and Children’s Writer) and John Fitzgerald, (Poet and Director of Information Services & University Librarian, UCC) commended all the students that reached the final.
More about Poetry Aloud
Established in 2007, Poetry Aloud is an annual poetry speaking competition open to all post-primary students on the island of Ireland. The competition is organised by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland in partnership with University College Cork (joining the partnership in 2018).
The competition has involved and engaged with thousands of students in that time in celebration of the joy of speaking and listening to poetry. Poetry Aloud adapted to the pandemic by successfully taking place virtually in 2021.
Working collaboratively on Poetry Aloud, the NLI and Poetry Ireland and UCC aim to bring
“poetry into the memory and affections of the young in a way that will make it a lifelong possession and value”.
The late Seamus Heaney was a significant supporter of the competition. In 2009, the Poetry Aloud competition was honoured at a gala ceremony at the British Library in London at which poet Seamus Heaney was presented with the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2009 for a lifetime's achievement in literature. Each year, in addition to the main award the winner of this prize nominates the recipient of a subsidiary prize of £10,000, the Clarissa Luard Award.
Seamus Heaney nominated Poetry Aloud for this subsidiary prize, citing the extraordinary way in which the competition seeks to celebrate the joy of speaking and listening to poetry, as well as the fact that there is a strong North-South dimension to the competition. This prize was invested to ensure the long-term future of the competition.
Enjoy this compilation of readings for Poetry Aloud 2021: