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Poetry competition promotes climate justice

By Ann Marie Foley - 10 February, 2015

trocaire poetry comp Ethiopian-Farmers-in-Desert

Poetry Ireland and Trócaire have announced their fourth joint poetry competition.

The theme for this year’s competition is Feeling the Heat which comes out of Trócaire’s Climate Justice campaign.

This campaign highlights extreme weather events and states that they are having a devastating effect on people in the developing world – the very people who contributed least to climate change and who are those most ‘feeling the heat’.

“Climate change is a major driver of poverty throughout the developing world. The poorest people in the world are suffering as a result. Our poetry competition invites you to think about how we are all affected, and what we can do to change this,” said Éamonn Meehan, Executive Director of Trócaire.

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland have worked in partnership for many years, exploring global justice through poetry and creative writing, mostly through schools.

The first joint poetry competition Imagining a Just and Free World was launched on All Ireland Poetry Day in October 2011.

The second competition, to mark Trócaire’s 40th anniversary in 2013, was on the theme of Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s World.

Trocaire /Poetry Ireland winners 2014

Trocaire /Poetry Ireland winners 2014

The theme of the 2014 competition was It’s Up To Us! and focused on the need to protect the environment, and to take action to conserve precious resources.

To encourage emerging and experienced voices alike, the competitions are open to all writers, ranging from published poets to primary school students, and there is no entry fee.

Organisers encourage poets to visit Trócaire’s Climate Justice web page for lots of practical suggestions and inspiration for their entries.

They highlight Trócaire’s own research document published in Winter 2014 called Feeling the Heat.

This report, based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence, shows how climate change is already affecting food production, water supply, health and many other aspects of people’s lives in the Philippines, Honduras, Kenya, Malawi and Ethiopia.

It brings together the science around climate change and personal experience of communities and organisations who want to address the injustice of the current situation.

Feeling the Heat is based on a report developed by the Department of Geography in Maynooth University.

It provides a review of observed changes in climate, climate change projections and impacts in five of Trócaire’s programme countries.

The report reviews over 150 publications on recent research, mostly from peer reviewed international scientific journals to give an up to date overview of emerging knowledge on how climate change is likely to unfold in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

The competition closing date is Friday 13 March 2015 and winners will be notified by Friday 8 May 2015.

Entries will be judged by Mary Shine Thompson, former Dean of St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (Dublin City University), and by poet Theo Dorgan and Trócaire’s Trish Groves.

As well as receiving prizes, the winners’ poems will also be published in booklet form, and distributed to arts festivals and community events, and through schools and poetry readings.

Winners and runners up will be invited to read at 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, All Ireland Poetry Day and the Mountains to Sea Book Festival in Dun Laoghaire.

See: http://www.trocaire.org/resources/policyandadvocacy/feeling-the-heat

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