The Arts Office, Waterford City & County Council announced the winners of the inaugural Waterford Poetry Prize 2017 at an event in the Theatre Royal (20/10/17) as part of the Waterford Writers Weekend at the Imagine Festival.
The Waterford Poetry Prize is open to all writers currently living on the island of Ireland. This prize has emerged from the influence of the late Waterford writer Seán Dunne whose poetry still continues to inspire.
The adjudicator for the award was the poet Grace Wells. The winners were announced by Waterford Writers Weekend curator Rick O’ Shea and presented by Deputy Mayor Cllr. John Cummins.
First prize of €400 plus attendance at a writing course at the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore went to Ciarán Parkes, Galway with a poem titled ‘Kelp’. Originally from the North of Ireland, he is the founding editor of the Galway literary magazine, Crannóg, and he has an MA in Creative Writing from The Poet’s House, Falcarragh. His poems have been published in a number of magazines and anthologies, including The Rialto, Poetry Ireland Review, New Irish Writing, The SHOp, The Threepenny Review and Bamboo Dreams: An Anthology of Haiku Poetry from Ireland. He has won prizes and has been shortlisted in several competitions, including First Prize in The Poetry Pulse Competition 2013, Third Prize in The Sonnet or Not Competition 2012, runner up in The Frogmore Prize 2014, runner up in The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award 2015 and 2016 and First Prize in The Poetry Nook Competition 2016 and 2017. He has been a featured reader at various events and festivals, including Over the Edge in Galway; The Mid May Festival in Midleton and The Galway Spirit of the Voice Festival. He also writes song lyrics for the Galway band, This Lunar Mansion.
Second prize of €300 was awarded to John Davies for his poem ‘Home Leave’. Born in Birkenhead, England, he has been published in Crannóg, The Manchester Review, The Interpreter’s House, Rosebud, Orbis, The Pedestal, QU Literary Magazine, Honest Ulsterman and Grain. In 2016 he was runner up in the Cheshire Prize for Literature (Poetry), and winner of the RTÉ Guide/Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. He organises a regular creative writing group based in Navan, Co. Meath.
Third prize of €200 went to Sarah Kelly for her piece titled ‘The Currach’ . Sarah is an English teacher who lives and works in Cork. She regularly takes part in the Psoken Wrod, a spoken word event that takes place in Clonakilty. Two of her poems have been published in the most recent edition of Banshee Literary Journal. She won First Prize at the inaugural Words By Water Festival in Kinsale and featured on the RTÉ Poetry Programme. Her work is also in the online edition of The Honest Ulsterman.
The Arts Office would like to thank everyone who entered the Waterford Poetry Prize 2017.
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