Trócaire’s 2019 poetry competition to explore the theme ‘Land is Life’

30 Jan, 2019 | News

This year’s Trócaire poetry competition will explore the theme ‘Land is Life’. The annual poetry competition, in association with Poetry Ireland, uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time.  Poets are encouraged to explore a local to global perspective, and reflect on Ireland’s own history of hunger and migration.

This year’s competition is open for entries from mid-January tuntil St Patrick’s Day [17 March], 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 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:

Published poets
Unpublished poets

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

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

Over the years, the panel of judges has included well-known, established Irish poets, editors and academics such as Mary Shine Thompson, John F Deane, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Theo Dorgan, Aidan Clifford, Nessa O’Mahony, and Trócaire’s Patricia Groves.

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.

Click here to enter.

Trócaire is the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland. For more on their work see



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