Poetry Aloud 2019 - Poetry Speaking Competition

Coming soon: Poetry Aloud 2019!

Entry form available at the end of August!

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 1,770 entries in 2018, with 138 schools nationwide participating.

The 2018 Poetry Aloud national winners are:
• Junior category: Palesa Hlongnane, Presentation Secondary School Tralee, Cloonbeg, Co. Kerry
• Intermediate category: Loretta Ojo, Salerno Girls Secondary School, Salthill, Co. Galway
• Senior category: Majella Votta, Mercy Mounthawk Secondary School, Tralee, Co. Kerry

Overall Winner:  Majella Votta

Majella VottaMajella Votta

Majella 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.
Each winning school receives €300 in book tokens for the school library.

The 2018 Poetry Aloud runners-up are:
• Junior category: Ellie Reynolds, Lismore Comprehensive School, Craigavon, Armagh
• Intermediate category: Adela Zinsuchitz, Ursuline College, Finisklin, Sligo
• Senior category: Matthew Price,  Terenure College, Terenure

Book tokens were presented to the category runners-up and to the librarians from the winning schools.

Well done to all who participated in Poetry Aloud 2018.
Thanks to all the schools and other venues including the Linen Hall Library, Belfast and Mullingar Arts centre who hosted the regional heats.

Find out more by reading this year's application form:

UCC announced as partner
In June 2018 Poetry Ireland and the National Library of Ireland announced that University College Cork (UCC) has joined as a partner on Poetry Aloud, the annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary schools, in a new 10-year agreement.

Overall winner 2017: Brendan MacDomhnaill

 Brendan Mac Domhnaill, Coláiste Oiriall, Monaghan

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 2017/2018 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 nominating Poetry Aloud as the recipient of a subsidiary prize, the Clarissa Luard 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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