Bringing Irish Language Poetry to Life for Post-Primary Students

5th September 2023

Poetry Ireland, in collaboration with IMRAM, has again launched two exciting initiatives that bring Irish language poems to life.  Guth na hÉigse is an Irish language Poetry Speaking Competition, and Duais Bashō Haiku is an English and Irish language haiku composition competition. With entries now open, Poetry Ireland and IMRAM are calling on all post-primary school teachers to get their students involved. 

This will be the second year of Guth na hÉigse, the fantastic Irish language programme based on the successful and well-established Poetry Aloud Poetry Speaking Competition. Guth na hÉigse aims to encourage students throughout the island of Ireland to learn and memorise Irish language poems and then speak the poems aloud at regional rounds, and at a national final that takes place in November in Smock Alley as part of IMRAM Féile Litríochta Gaeilge 2023. 

Duais Bashō Haiku Poetry Competition invites post-primary students to compose a haiku in the English or Irish language,  or bilingually, and submit their haiku for adjudication by 20 October 2023. Poet, playwright, haikuist and member of Aosdána Gabriel Rosenstock will adjudicate the competition. 

Majella Ní Chríocháin, Manager of IMRAM  said, regarding Duais Bashō , “We are delighted to be working with Éigse Éireann again this year in the promotion of creative writing amongst young people. The poet Gabriel Rosenstock has noticed that haiku is very popular with young people and is a very effective genre through which to introduce them to creative writing.  Duais Bashō gives young people the opportunity and encouragement to compose haiku and engage in writing in an enjoyable way”. 

Jane O’Hanlon, Education Officer for Poetry Ireland, said “GUTH NA HÉIGSE and DUAIS BASHO aim to connect young people with Irish language poetry in the spirit of IMRAM. Above all it is about enjoyment of the language and confidence in speaking it. Mar sin, bí linn agus bain taithneamh as! “ 

Both initiatives aim to support Irish language development in schools by providing an exciting and accessible programme, focused on using the Irish language as an interactive language that can be spoken and written with confidence and enjoyment. 

Entries are now open for both competitions. 

The deadline for Guth na hÉigse entries is on 13 October 2022 and the deadline for Duais Bashō Haiku Poetry Competition follows later in the month on 20 October 2023.

Entry forms and details for both competitions are available on and


Poetry Ireland gratefully acknowledges the support of its principal funders The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.