Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2018

Trócaire’s annual poetry competition, in association with Poetry Ireland, uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. The annual competition is open for entries from mid-January to St Patrick’s Day each year, with an awards ceremony in the National Library of Ireland in late May. The competition is open to published poets, un-published poets, spoken word poets and students.

The theme for 2018 is ‘Until Love Conquers Fear’

This year the competition explores the theme ‘Until Love Conquers Fear’. The video below outlines four ways that this can become a reality.

Fear is the deafening sound of war. Love is the hand that quietens it.
Surviving Conflict in Syria »Watch video  

Fear is the voice that’s never heard. Love is breaking the silence.
Empowering Women in Rwanda »Watch video   

Fear is the truth that’s locked in the dark. Love is the courage that frees it.
Defending Land in Honduras »Watch video   

Fear is the hunger that starves all hope. Love is the food that feeds it.
Hunger in East Africa »Watch video 

The Until Love Conquers Fear manifesto:

Fear is the deafening sound of war.
Love is the hand that quietens it.
Fear is the voice that’s never heard.
Love is breaking the silence.
Fear is the truth that’s locked in the dark.
Love is the courage that frees it.
Fear is the hunger that starves all hope.
Love is the food that feeds it.
As long as pain exists, as long as suffering is here,
We will stay.
Trócaire. Until love conquers fear.

Categories for entry

The competition is FREE to enter and is open to young people and adults alike, at all stages in their writing careers. Many published poets have participated in the competition, such as David Butler, Lorraine Carey, Angela T. Carr, Nicki Griffin, Afric McGlinchey, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Ann Joyce, Karen O’Connor, Wilma Kenny, Mary Turley-McGrath, Eleanor Hooker, Jane Clarke, Geraldine Mitchell, David Mohan and Breda Joy.

Poems in English or Irish, written or spoken word, are welcome in all six categories: 

ADULT
Published poets
Unpublished poets

POST-PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Junior: 1st-3rd year
Senior: Transition Year-Leaving Certificate

PRIMARY SHOOLS
Junior: 3rd/4th Class
Senior: 5th/6th Class

Competition calendar

Entries open: Monday 23 January 2018
Deadline for applications: Friday 16 March 2018
Winners notified: Early May 2018
Awards Ceremony: Late May 2018, National Library of Ireland 

How to enter

 »Enter online now
or
» Download an application form 


This year, teachers also have the option to receive Certificates of Participation from Trócaire for all of their students who enter the competition, so please do tick the box if you wish to receive these.

Judges

Over the years, the panel of judges has included well-known, established Irish poets, editors and academics such as Mary Shine Thompson, John F Dean, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and Theo Dorgan. Our judges for 2018 are Aidan Clifford, formerly of the CDETB Curriculum Development Unit, poet Nessa O’Mahony, and Trócaire’s Patricia Groves.

Education and youth arts

Exploring global justice through art forms such as poetry, performance, music and painting is a fun and creative way to engage young people in complex issues. The competition also connects to the formal schools’ curriculum across many subjects, including Geography and English.

Prizes

ADULT CATEGORIES (PUBLISHED and UNPUBLISHED)

Winners: 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 subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland's Critical Assessment Service. 

Runners-up: Tickets to a literary festival to the value of €250, plus subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland's Critical Assessment Service. 

Highly commended: Book Token, plus subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland's Critical Assessment Service. 

POST-PRIMARY AND PRIMARY CATEGORIES

Winners: Kindle Fire plus visit by an author to your school

Runners-up: Book token plus visit by an author to your school

Highly Commended: Book token

The winning poems are also published in booklet form, and distributed to arts festivals and community events, and through schools and poetry readings. Winners and runners up are invited to read at our lunchtime awards ceremony at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin, and many past winners have gone on to read at events around Ireland, including Culture Night and the Mountains to Sea Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire. Winning poems will be considered for publication by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review

(Note: Prizes must be claimed by 31 December 2018)

Competition Rules

»Download the competition rules

Read the work of previous winners

» Read the work of 2017's winning poets
» Read the work of 2016's winning poets
» Read the work of 2015's winning poets
» Read the work of 2014's winning poets

For updates about the competition, please visit us on our Facebook page: 
www.facebook.com/poetryireland.eigseeireann and www.facebook.com/trocaireireland
or follow us on Twitter: @PoetryIreland and @trocaire.