Trócaire and Poetry Ireland have announced the winners of the 2020 poetry competition, which this year had the theme ‘Standing Her Ground’. The Trócaire and Poetry Ireland annual poetry competition uses the arts to raise awareness about global justice, ecological and equality issues.

This year’s theme used the extraordinary stories of Angela and Madris, two brave mothers from Honduras and Kenya who featured in Trócaire’s 2020 Lenten Campaign who are supporting their families by standing up for their right to earn a living on their own land.

These brave women are battling enormous odds, including threats like violence, intimidation and drought, to provide food for their children and to keep them in school.

The winners and runners-up are across six categories: adult published, adult unpublished, primary junior, primary senior, post-primary junior and post-primary senior.

Given that this has been such a difficult year, with schools closed since early March, Trócaire was delighted with the volume and the quality of the response to this year’s theme.

As a physical awards ceremony isn’t possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, the winners of the competition will be celebrated with a streamed video event on Poetry Ireland’s YouTube channel at 6.00pm on Culture Night – Friday 18 September.

A booklet of the winning poems is due to be published in 2021.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Published Category

Winner:‘Protest Song’ – Cliona O’Connell

Runners-up:

‘Well Water’ – Christine Broe

‘Arenaria Ciliata’  – Marie Whelton

‘The Kiss and the Betrayal’  – Margaret McCarthy

Adult Unpublished Category

Winner: ‘Declaration Winner’  Marie Struder

Runners-up:
‘Everything beautiful is cruel’   – Michael Ray
‘Women Sing at the Court of Justice’  – Christine Park
‘Amal’  – Priscilla Cassar

Primary Junior Category 

Winner: ‘She’s Standing her Ground’ – Ruairí Heeney

Runners-up:
‘She Stood Tall’  – Eibhlín Milmoe O’Reilly
‘Too much to ask’ – Liam York

Primary Senior Category 

Winner: ‘Gaia’s Stand’  – Rosie Penn-Chester

Runners-up:
‘Dear Mrs Sheey Skeffington’  – Iseult McGovern

‘The Girl’  – Veronika Fitzsimons

Post-Primary Junior Category 

Winner: ‘Suo Tempore’  – Sineád O’Reilly

Runners-up:
‘Seas do Thalamh’ – Lucy Dillon
‘No More’  – Siobhan Fitzgerald

Post-Primary Senior Category  

Winner:‘Home Comforts’  – Liam Hannigan

Runners-up:

‘The Lighthouse’  – Hannah Nic Eindrí

‘Wolves’  – Rachel Durcan

ENDS
Photo: This year’s winner in the adult published category, Cliona O’Connell, reading at the 2019 awards event. Photo : Garry Walsh.