Trócaire Poetry Ireland poetry competition 2020 open for entries

by | 10 Mar, 2020 | News

The Trócaire Poetry Ireland poetry competition for 2020 is open for entries.

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 opens for entries in spring each year, with an awards ceremony in the National Library of Ireland in late May. The competition is open to published poets, unpublished poets, spoken word poets and students.

2020 Theme: ‘Standing Her Ground’

This year the competition explores the theme ‘Standing Her Ground’, inspired by the extraordinary stories of hardworking women who are holding their families together, battling enormous odds, including threats like violence, intimidation and drought, to provide food for their children and are battling to keep their children, and the earth, safe from harm.

Poets of all ages are encouraged to explore the theme, from a local to global perspective.

Categories for entry

The competition is always FREE to enter and is open to young people, children and adults alike, at all stages in their writing careers. Many published poets have participated in the competition, including Daragh Bradish, Eileen Casey, Joseph Horgan, 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:

1. Published poets
2. Unpublished poets

3. Junior: 1st-3rd year
4. Senior: Transition Year-Leaving Certificate

5. Junior: 3rd/4th Class
6. Senior: 5th/6th Class

Competition calendar

Entries open: Monday 20 January 2020
Deadline for applications: Friday 20 March 2020
Winners notified: 27 April 2020
Awards Ceremony: Late May 2020, National Library of Ireland

How to enter

You can enter online here.

Alternatively, you can post your entry to Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin 1. Please include a completed entry form with postal entries, which can be downloaded here.


The 2020 judging panel comprises Poetry Ireland’s Poet In Residence, Catherine Ann Cullen, Aidan Clifford, retired former director of the Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire’s Patricia Groves, published author.


Each year, the winning poems are published in booklet form and presented to the winners at the awards ceremony. The booklets are also distributed at events throughout the year, including poetry readings, Culture Night, literary festivals and schools workshops, ensuring a wide readership. 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 and festivals around Ireland. Winning poems will be considered for publication by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review.


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

(Note: Prizes must be claimed by 31 December 2020)

Previous Winning Entries

Booklets of the winning poems from previous years are available to download here:

» 2018: When Love Conquers Fear
» 2017: Before the Storm
» 2016: Forced to Flee: This is our Exodus
» 2015: Feeling the Heat
» 2014: It’s up to us
» 2013: Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s World

For updates about the competition, please visit the relevant Facebook pages and Twitter accounts: and,
@PoetryIreland and @trocaire.



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