Call for entries for Poetry Awards

Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival Irish Times Poetry Now Award and The Shine Strong Award

Closing date for entries Friday 29th November 2019 at 5pm

Date: 29th November 2019
Venue: Poetry Awards
Time: 5pm

Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival now invites publishers to submit entries to the two Poetry Awards hosted at the Festival. 
The Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival / Irish Times Poetry Now Award is presented annually at Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival to the author of the best collection of poems in English, published by an Irish poet in the previous year. This year our judges are Niall MacMonagle, Colette Bryce and The Scots Makar, Jackie Kay.

The Shine / Strong Poetry Award is presented annually to the author of the best first collection of poems published by an Irish poet in the previous year. The judge for this competition is Thomas McCarthy. 

The closing date for entries to both competitions is Friday November 29th 2019 at 5pm.

Entry Form and full details are available to download here.

Shine Strong Award
Thomas McCarthy was born in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, in 1954 and educated locally and at University College Cork where he was auditor of the English Literature Society. He has published many collections of poetry, including The First Convention, The Sorrow Garden, Lost Province, Merchant Prince and The Last Geraldine Officer. He has also published three novels, Without Power, Asya and Christine as well as two works of non-fiction, Gardens of Remembrance and Out of the Ashes. His Pandemonium was published by Carcanet Press in 2016 and was short-listed for the Irish Times/Poetry Now Award. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish Assembly of artists and writers. He has won the Patrick Kavanagh Award, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and the O’Shaughnessy Prize for Poetry as well as the Ireland Funds Annual Literary Award.

Poetry Now Awards
Niall MacMonagle is a teacher,  critic  and broadcaster and a regular contributor to the Today with Sean O’Rourke programme on Radio 1. He has been an advocate for the arts and, in particular, a champion for poetry. He spent more than 30 years teaching at Wesley College in Dublin, where he founded the poetry-speaking initiative Poetry Aloud, now a nationwide competition.  He was responsible for the brilliant Lifelines series and to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Niall published the Windharp: Poems of Ireland Since 1916 which reflects the country’s people and beliefs, its landscape, passions and politics over the past century.  He writes a weekly art column for the Sunday Independent and has edited numerous anthologies. He was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature by UCD in 2017 for his services to literature.

The Scots Makar Jackie Kay was born in Edinburgh in 1961 to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father. She was adopted as a baby by a white Scottish couple, Helen and John Kay, and grew up in Bishopbriggs, a suburb of Glasgow.  She studied English at the University of Stirling and her first book of poetry, the partially autobiographical The Adoption Papers, was published in 1991 and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book Award. Her other awards include the 1994 Somerset Maugham Award for Other Lovers, and the Guardian First Book Award Fiction Prize for Trumpet, based on the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton, born Dorothy Tipton, who lived as a man for the last fifty years of his life. Kay writes extensively for stage, screen and for children.  In 2010 she published Red Dust Road, an account of her search for her natural parents. Jackie Kay was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2006 and worked as Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University and Cultural Fellow at Glasgow Caledonian University.   She took part in the Bush Theatre's 2011 project Sixty-Six Books, with a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible. Since 2014, she has been Chancellor of the University of Salford.

Colette Bryce is an award-winning poet from Northern Ireland. She received the Eric Gregory Award for emerging poets in 1995. After a year teaching in Madrid, she took up a fellowship at Dundee University from 2002-05, and was subsequently appointed North East Literary Fellow at the universities of Newcastle and Durham. She currently lives in Newcastle upon Tyne where she works as a freelance writer and editor. Her first collection The Heel of Bernadette (2000) received the Aldeburgh Prize and the inaugural Strong Award for new Irish poets. She won first prize in the UK National Poetry Competition for the title poem of her second book, The Full Indian Rope Trick (2004), which was followed by Self-Portrait in the Dark in 2008. From 2009-2013 she was Poetry Editor for the journal Poetry London. She received the Cholmondeley Award for  poetry in 2010. The Whole & Rain-domed Universe (2014), which draws on her experience of growing up in Derry during the Troubles, received a Christopher Ewart-Biggs Award in memory of Seamus Heaney, and was shortlisted for the Forward, Costa, and Roehampton poetry prizes. Selected Poems (2017), was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, and winner of the Pigott Poetry Prize 2018. In recent years, Colette has held writing fellowships at the universities of Newcastle, Manchester, Notre Dame and Trinity College Dublin, and most recently the 2018 Heimbold Chair in Irish Writing at Villanova University, PA. A new collection of poems, The M Pages, will be published by Picador in 2020.

Thomas McCarthy
L to R Niall MacMonagle, Jackie Kay, Colette Bryce