Poets Louis de Paor and Rita Ann Higgins, along with veteran arts critic Ciaran Carty, are the judges for the international Thomas MacDonagh poetry competition launched in Dublin on Tuesday 15 December.
Organised by Reclaim the Vision of 1916, the competition invites original entries of not more than 30 lines – not previously published, including on social media – on the theme ‘The Vision of 1916: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’.
The author of the winning poem, as selected by the panel of judges, will receive a €1,000 prize and a medallion, designed by artist Robert Ballagh, of the poet and 1916 Rising leader Thomas MacDonagh. The second and third prize winners will receive €500 and €250 respectively.
Entrants must be aged over 16, can be living in Ireland or abroad and, in keeping with the vision of 1916, are particularly welcome from Ireland’s new communities.
Entries can be in English, Irish or any language commonly used in Ireland today (with English translation). Prof Michael Cronin will act as advisor to the competition on poems received in languages other than English and Irish.
“I’m enticed by wisdom, warmth and the inner lilt that carries a poem,” said Higgins. “For me a good poem should have no tiredness, no jaded veins to pull it down.”
A €10 fee applies for each entry, which must be received by the closing date of 29 February 2016. The winner will be announced on or around the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on 24 April 2016.
Full details of entry requirements are available on reclaim1916.ie.