Poetry Aloud 2018 - Poetry Speaking Competition

Poetry Aloud 2018

Entry forms and details will be available in late August.

Closing date will be in September.

This year's regional heats will run from 9 - 26 October, semi-finals in November with the national final taking place on 7 December.

National Winners of 2017 Poetry Aloud

The winners of the annual Poetry Aloud competition, organised by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and Poetry Ireland, were announced on Friday (01.12.17) at the final round of the competition, held at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Poetry Aloud is an annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary school students across the island of Ireland. It has grown from just a few hundred entries since its launch in 2007 to 1,700 entries in 2017, with 143 schools nationwide participating.

The competition has three categories: junior, intermediate and senior. The prescribed poems for this year were ‘Little Skellig’ by Moya Cannon (junior); ‘Lullaby’ by Francis Ledwidge (intermediate) and ‘State Funeral’ by Thomas McCarthy (senior).

The Poetry Aloud competition comprises three stages: the regionals; the semi-finals; and the final. A national winner is chosen from each category by a panel of esteemed judges and receives a prize of €300. The 2017 judging panel comprised of actor and overall winner of Poetry Aloud 2008, Sam McGovern; Librarian at University College Cork, John FitzGerald and Director of Poetry Ireland, Maureen Kennelly.

The 2017 Poetry Aloud national winners are:
• Junior category: Brendan MacDomhnaill, Coláiste Oiriall, Monaghan;
• Intermediate category: Holly Micklem, Wesley College, Ballinteer, Dublin;
• Senior category: Liam Rush, St Kevin’s Community College, Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow

Overall winner 2017: Brendan MacDomhnaill

From the three national category winners, Brendan MacDomhnaill was chosen as overall winner and awarded the Seamus Heaney Poetry Aloud Award. The perpetual trophy is designed by Meath-based sculptor Fiona Smith-Darragh. The overall winner receives an additional €300.

This year’s Poetry Aloud runners up, who each receive a book token, are:
• Junior category: Rhiannon Nar, St Louis Secondary School, Monaghan;
• Intermediate category: Michael Tient, Marino College, Fairview, Dublin;
• Senior category: Julia Mullaney, Ursuline College, Sligo

Book tokens to the value of €300 are also presented to a teacher from each winning school to contribute towards adding new stock to the school library. 

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this year's competition: adjudicators, teachers, parents, to the schools who hosted regional heats and once again to the Linen Hall Library, Belfast and to the Mullingar Arts centre for hosting regional heats.

New to Poetry Aloud - find out more by checking out last year's entry form:

Working collaboratively on Poetry Aloud, the NLI and Poetry Ireland aim to bring “poetry into the memory and affections of the young in a way that will make it a lifelong possession and value”. (Seamus Heaney)
Participants in Poetry Aloud are included in the Verse and Vision section of the award winning exhibition Yeats: the life and work of William Butler Yeats at the National Library and in the Words and Music - The Sounds of War section of the library’s exhibition World War Ireland. Participants have taken part in commemoration events in the library during 2016/2017 and in external events organised by the NLI and Poetry Ireland.

What is Poetry Aloud?

Poetry Aloud winner 2016 Nathan Quinn O’RawePoetry Aloud winner 2016 Nathan Quinn O’Rawe

Poetry Aloud is the annual poetry speaking competition organised by the National Library and Poetry Ireland. It is open to all post-primary school students on the island of Ireland.
The Poetry Aloud competition, run by the Library in conjunction with Poetry Ireland, was honoured at a gala ceremony at the British Library in London at which poet Seamus Heaney was presented with the David Cohen Prize for Literature 2009 for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
In addition to winning the £40,000 award, the winner of the David Cohen Prize for Literature nominates the recipient of a subsidiary prize, the Clarissa Luard Award, worth £12,500. In nominating Poetry Aloud for the award, Seamus Heaney cited the extraordinary way in which the competition seeks to celebrate the joy of speaking and listening to poetry as well as the fact that there is a strong North/South dimension to the competition.

Post Primary Education at the NLI
Post Primary Education at the NLI
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