Schools Awards in Bray

As part of Poetry Town Bray, Schools Awards took place, with primary and secondary school students invited to submit poems in six different categories. They could write a poem about their town, a local place, or a person from the area.  

Schools in the town were contacted with details of how the Awards work. Entries opened on 3 September and closed at midnight on 30 September.  

About the Awards 

Awards entries were judged anonymously. An independent adjudicator was appointed for each town shortlisted the submissions, and Poetry Ireland made the final decisions on the awards. 

Full information, including details of the categories, can be found on the Rules and Conditions of Entry PDF

Winners - Bray 

We're delighted to announce the winners in the Bray Poetry Town School Awards:

  • Niamh Arcan (St Patrick's Loreto Primary - 5th/6th class category) with her poem 'Sidmonton Park'
  • Murray Sheehan (St Gerard's Bray - 5th/6th year category) with his poem 'They're Dancing on the Beaches'
  • Olivia Vondrys (St Gerard's Bray - 1st/2nd year category) with her poem 'Éire Duit'
  • Lucy Curran (St Gerard's Bray - 1st/2nd year category) with her poem 'My Town is Every Town'
  • Amber O'Donoghue (St Gerard's Bray - 1st/2nd year category) with her poem 'Someone in my Village'

Sidmonton Park - Niamh Arcan

Sidmonton Park is very lively  
With children playing wildly 
With trees swaying  
And children playing  
Sidmonton Park is the place to be 
With laughter and chatter  
And me in the basket 
When I was three.  
My Dad beside me  
That goes to show  
Sidmonton Park has loads of memories  
With me.  

They’re Dancing on The Beaches - Murray Sheehan

They’re dancing on the beaches 
The beaches full of igneous, 
multicoloured rock. Some would 
prefer sand. But they don’t understand  
that these sharp rocks are our stones. 

And it’s black and it’s blue and it’s  
an abstract painting. Two blocks of 
colour that I don’t understand  
but I can feel alive, feel moving, 
throbbing beneath its night time canvas. 

Bray Head watches, she wears her cross. 
Now reach out. Take it. Weave its shine 
around your neck and become littered  
with the detritus of youth - old 
cigarette butts, clandestine kisses, 

The mementos graffitied, carved 
on trees, on walls. Please understand  
that love cannot be hidden. It is  
alive. It’s dancing on the beaches 
on the golden, speckled shore. 

This town, this not-quite city. 
Abstract painting. Piece of Graffiti. 
Full of rocks and bits of stones. 
It is alive. It’s dancing on the shore. 
This place. It holds our bones. 

Éire Duit - Olivia Vondrys

Labhraím Béarla sa bhaile,  
Ach is féidir liom theanga a labhairt cúig.  
Is aoibhinn liom ag labhairt teangacha, 
Ach níl mé ag iarraidh foclóir don Nollaig. 

Tá mé i mo chonaí i nDeilginis, 
Agus is maith liom Éire agus Gaeilge. 
Is breá liom é nuair a bhíonn sé ag cur sneachta, 
Is aoibhinn liom ag labhairt teangacha.  

My Town Is Every Town - Lucy Curran

Write about a person, 
Sounds easy doesn’t it? 
But how do you know who to choose? 
How do you know who’ll fit? 

And even if you’ve chosen, 
How do you know it’s real? 
Is it just some sixth sense? 
Something that you feel? 

How do you know what you’re seeing, 
Is a person’s truest self? 
And why do we expect that, 
When we don’t even give it ourselves? 

And you can claim I’m wrong all you want, 
But you and I both know, 
That all that people see, 
Is what you choose to show. 

So I could write about anyone, 
Create stories about what they hide, 
And no one will every know, 
Whether or not I lied. 

Pay attention to those who pass, 
Study their face, their eyes, 
Try to force your piercing gaze, 
Through the cracks in their disguise 

This town is filled with mystery, 
Covered by a layer of grime, 
So why don’t you wipe it off? 
Just to pass the time. 

Someone in my village - Amber O'Donoghue

His weathered face wrinkles in a smile, 
His chapped lips, bleeding and dry. 
His eyes carry a certain pain that no one who hasn’t spent a, night under the blind innocence of the moon can have. 

I watched as he calls out asking for help. 
His cries echo in my ears, 
As the lonely sound of the coins in a metal can shrieks greedily. 
His lips tell the story of the street, 
But there's no one to listen. 

He cries to the never ending sky, 
But still there is no answer. 
People turn away shielding themselves from the fact, 
That this man used to be their neighbour, 
Their friend. 
Even a fellow human being, but no longer. 
Now he is a part of the hungry shadows that wander alone in the night. 

I watch as people turn away in disgust, 
Sneering at the nightmare that is his life. 
All caught up in the numbing cage of their own life. 
He looks up to the trees as their leaves sing the story of life, 
Whispering their secrets. 
And he knows his eyes will always bear the mark of an outsider. 
The mark of someone who will forever observe from afar.