By Ann Marie Foley - 30 January, 2019
“Land is Life” is the theme for this year’s Trócaire poetry competition, which is held in association with Poetry Ireland.
Videos on the organisers’ websites illustrate the theme. For example, one shows how a family and community have been forced from their land and their efforts to build a new life for themselves. The plight of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is also highlighted.
An animation film, written for children, tells the story of how Brigit’s family was affected by the Irish famine in the 1840s, and how Sami’s community in Syria is being devastated by war today. Those interested in entering the poetry competition are asked to consider these themes in their entries.
“Poets are encouraged to explore a local to global perspective, and reflect on Ireland’s own history of hunger and migration,” state the organisers.
“The competition uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of these times,” added the organisers.
Open for entries from mid January to St Patrick’s Day, the competition welcomes work from published poets, unpublished poets, and spoken word poets. As always, entry is free and open to young people, children and adults alike.
Many published poets have participated in the competition in the past, 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. Many past winners have gone on to read at events and festivals around Ireland.
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 the lunchtime awards ceremony at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin in May 2019. Winning poems will also be considered for publication by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review.
Poems in English or Irish, written or spoken word, are welcome in all six categories including:
> Adult: Published poets; and Unpublished poets;
> Post-Primary Schools: Junior: 1st–3rd year; and Senior: Transition Year–Leaving Certificate;
> and Primary Schools: Junior: 3rd/4th Class; and Senior: 5th/6th Class
Trócaire produces educational resources for schools, and this year focuses on land rights, which feeds into the competition theme. The charity has resources on the primary schools’ land rights page, and the primary teachers’ resource includes lots of cross-curricular activities and curriculum links.
For post-primary schools the poetry competition connects to the formal school curricula in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland across many subjects, including geography, history, religion and politics.
Entry details and rules are available on: www.poetryireland.ie/education/trocaire-poetry-ireland-poetry-competition.