Trócaire and Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition launched for 2017

24 Jan, 2017 | News

The Trócaire and Poetry Ireland poetry competition for 2017 has been launched with the theme ‘Before the Storm’.

This annual competition is open to published poets, unpublished poets, spoken word poets and students.

Ireland is renowned for its literary and cultural heritage, as well as for its generosity in supporting those in need around the world. Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition brings these two elements together in a creative way, using the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. This competition is unique, because poets are invited to explore a different global development theme each year. The competition is also free to enter.

‘Before the Storm’

This year’s competition theme is ‘Before the Storm’, and it explores how people prepare for extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Central America, with approximately one million households living below the poverty line. It is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and was the worst-affected country in the world from 1993 to 2014. During this period of time, at least 65 extreme weather events affected Honduras, including six of the 12 strongest hurricanes of the 20th century. In October 1998, Honduras was hit by Hurricane Mitch, resulting in more than 10,000 deaths, devastation of the country’s infrastructure and drinking water network, and extensive crop losses.

Working with Trócaire, some of the most vulnerable communities in Honduras are taking action to ensure that they can fight back against the effects of climate change… this is called ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’, or DRR.

It means making a plan to prepare for the next extreme weather event, to ensure the least amount of damage possible. DRR is what you do to get ready ‘before the storm’.


The Trócaire and Poetry Ireland competition is open to young people and adults alike, at all stages in their writing careers. Poems in English or Irish, written or spoken word, are welcome in all six categories:

  • Adult Published poets
  • Adult Unpublished poets
  • Post-Primary Junior: 1st-3rd year
  • Post Primary Senior: Transition Year-Leaving Certificate
  • Primary Schools Junior: 3rd/4th Class
  • Primary Schools Senior: 5th/6th Class

Competition calendar

Entries open: Friday 20 January 2017
Deadline for applications: Friday 17 March 2017
Winners notified: No later than 8 May 2017
Awards Ceremony: Late May 2017, National Library of Ireland


Entries for the 2017 competition will judged by poet and former competition-winner Jane Clarke, Aidan Clifford, former Director of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board’s Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire’s Trish Groves.



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.


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 also be considered for publication by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review.

How to Enter

Both postal and online applications are accepted.

Apply online by Friday 17 March 2017
Go to online application form

Download an application form and post to:
Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition
Poetry Ireland
11 Parnell Square
Dublin 1
Download application form 



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