Wednesday 14 October 2020

Mslexia Poetry Competition


The Magma 2020/21 Poetry Competition is now open for entries in both categories, the Judge’s Prize for poems of 11 to 50 lines and the Editors’ Prize for poems of up to 10 lines. Award-winning poet Theresa Lola is the judge for the Judge’s Prize here are no sifters. The Editors’ Prize is judged by a panel of Magma Editors. The prize money for both competitions is the same, so double your chances and try your luck at both. First prize for the Judge’s and Editors’ Prize is £1000, second prize £300 and third prize £150. The six prize-winning poems will be published in Magma and there will also be five special mentions for the Judge’s Prize and for the Editors’ Prize. Winning and commended poets will be invited to read their poems at a Magma Competition Event in Spring 2021.


Monday 12 October 2020

Death of Poet Derek Mahon



We are all deeply saddened to learn of the death of poet Derek Mahon. His influence in the Irish poetry community, literary world and society at large, and his legacy, is immense. 


Derek, who died in Cork following a short illness, was one of Ireland’s leading poets, a member of Aosdána and a highly accomplished translator. Born in Belfast in 1941, he spent time living in Dublin while studying at Trinity College and subsequently lived in France, the US, Canada and London before settling in Ireland again.  


Chair of Poetry Ireland, Ciarán Benson, said, “In the loss of Derek Mahon, Ireland, and the world of poetry, has lost an outstanding voice, one that ranged over the wide territories of contemporary life, both personal and natural. He effortlessly framed and clarified centrally important ideas and longings and gifted them back to us in a beautiful and rich body of work. His influence will continue to grow.” 

Director of Poetry Ireland, Niamh O’Donnell, said that Derek’s legacy in the poetry world is very keenly felt.  


“Derek was an extraordinarily brilliant poet. A gifted and noble observer of our world and one of that generation of outstanding poets from Northern Ireland who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970sHis legacy to us is an incredible body of work, full of hard-earned insight and wisdom, including so many touchstone poems that will continue to resonate with people all over the world for generations to come.” 


One of Derek Mahon’s poems, ‘Everything Is Going To Be All Right’, has been a beacon of solace during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Derek will be remembered for so many of his insightful poems, including ‘A Disused Shed in County Wexford’ which he referred to as "that one"!

also ‘Beyond Howth Head’ and ‘A Refusal to Mourn’ and many more. His many honours include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry (1990), The Irish Times-Aer Lingus Poetry Prize (1991), the Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize and the David Cohen Prize for Literature (2007). In 2019, his collection Against the Clock won him the Irish Times Poetry Now award, his third time receiving the award.  


At the time, Bernard O’Donoghue said on behalf of the judges that the book was “driven by an unfailing poetry energy” and that “All we can say is that the other five writers on the shortlist were unfortunate to be in competition with Derek Mahon, one of the great poets of our time, at the top of his form.” 


Derek’s poems were featured many times in Poetry Ireland Review – his poem ‘Quarantine’ is a stand-out in the latest issue – and his work was often reviewed in the Poetry Ireland Journal.  


Reviewing Derek’s most recent collection, Against the Clock, in the Review, Nicholas Grene wrote: “But wonderfully, for a poet who has so often written out of a troubled life, there is a sense in many of these poems of someone at peace with himself…Against the Clock is indeed the collection of a great poet, and we have every reason to be grateful for it.” 


Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Derek’s partner Sarah Iremonger and his children Rory, Katy and Maisie, along with all of his extended family, friends and comrades. 

Tuesday 9 June 2020

5 words Poetry Competition - O'Bheal

Every Tuesday at midday (UTC) from 14th April 2020 – 26th January 2021, five words are posted on this competition page. 

Entrants will have one week to compose and submit one or more poems which include all five words given for that week.

A prize of 750 euros will be awarded to the winner, plus 500 euros for second place and 250 euros for third place. These three, if available will be invited to read at Ó Bhéal’s fourteenth anniversary event, on Monday the 12th of April 2021. An additional travel fee of 100 euro plus B&B accommodation will be provided for this. The overall winner also receives a physical award, hand-crafted by acclaimed glass artist (and poet) Michael Ray.

The shortlisted poems and winning entry will also be published in Five Words Vol XIV – the next annual anthology of five word poems, to be launched at the same event. A shortlist of twelve poems including the overall winner will be announced by the first week of March 2021.

The 2020/21 judge is Grace Wells.

Saturday 6 June 2020

Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition

Get writing – the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition is open until 12 June 

Adults and children alike can get creative and enter a poem or poems to the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition.  

The competition takes place annually and uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. The deadline has been extended until 12 June, with the competition open to published and unpublished poets. 
Adults and children, through their schools, can enter the competition. Poems in English or Irish are welcome in all six categories, with spoken word pieces actively encouraged as well as poems. 

The competition is always free to enter

The attractive prizes on offer include for the adult categories: a choice of a two-week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, or a tablet or time in a recording studio to the value of €300 (for spoken word poets) plus a year’s subscription to Poetry Ireland Review. 

Winners of the post-primary and primary categories win a Kindle Fire plus a visit by an author to the winner’s school (to be scheduled post-Covid 19 restrictions).  

This year, the competition explores the theme ‘Standing Her Ground’, inspired by the extraordinary stories of hardworking women who are holding their families together, battling enormous odds, including threats like violence, intimidation and drought, to provide food for their children and are battling to keep their children, and the earth, safe from harm.  

Poets of all ages are encouraged to explore the theme, from a local to global perspective. Each year, the winning poems are published in booklet form and presented to the winners at an awards ceremony.  


Fingal Poetry Prize

Fingal Poetry Festival
Fingal Poetry Festival, which will take place from Sept 4th – 6th 2020 in lovely Skerries, are delighted to announce the Inaugural Fingal Poetry Prize.
Our judge is esteemed poet and writer, Mary O’Donnell
Deadline 30th June
First Prize €500
Second €300
Third  €200
Five additional short-listed poets will also be invited to read at an awards ceremony in Skerries and receive a reading fee of €100 each.
Our generous sponsor for the Fingal Poetry Prize 2020 is DHL Ireland.
For rules and details of how to enter please visit
Because I am so good to you, here are the highlights
  •  Entry fee is €6 per poem. Paypal.
  • Poems must not exceed 40 lines and be the original work of a living writer
  • All entries must be submitted, on one continues document, as an attachment to with the title: Competition Submission as your Subject Header.

Sunday 29 March 2020


Richard Mabey, one of the UK’s foremost nature writers, will judge the inaugural Moth Nature Writing Prize. The Prize will be awarded to an unpublished piece of writing – prose fiction, non-fiction or poetry – which best combines exceptional literary merit with an exploration of the writer’s relationship with the natural world. The prize is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. The winning piece will be published in the winter issue of The Moth, and the winner will receive €1,000 and a week-long stay at The Moth Retreat in rural Ireland. Closing date 15 September 2020.


1st prize €1,000 plus a week at The Moth Retreat in rural Ireland. The Moth Nature Writing Prize is open to anyone (over 16) as long as their piece is previously unpublished. The word limit is 4,000 and there is an entry fee of €15. This year’s judge is Richard Mabey. Closing 15 September 2020. See for details.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Poetry Day ireland

Poetry Day Ireland 2020, takes place on Thursday 30 April. Everyone is invited to join in and celebrate poetry’s very special place in Irish culture – traditional and new.

This year’s theme is ‘There will be time’. Time is universal in all of our lives. Whether we’re looking to the past, living in the ‘here and now’ or pondering what our future will look like.

If you’re thinking about organising a Poetry Day event but are wondering where to begin, Poetry Ireland will be hosting an Information Session in its Dublin city centre base on Tuesday 14 January at 6.30pm. Everyone is welcome to come along and learn more about planning and promoting an event for Poetry Day, with useful tips on event management, social media promotion and lots more.

Almost 150 poetry-related events took place on Poetry Day Ireland last year, in libraries, bookshops, arts centres, schools, hotels, nightclubs, bars, cafes and street corners from Kerry to Derry. Everyone is invited to join in and celebrate and we welcome all events and activities, large or small!