Waterford Poetry Prize Winners 2018 resized
Photo (l to r)
Pictured at the presentation of the Waterford Poetry Prize 2018 were
Back Nora Boland/Imagine Festival, Rick O’ Shea/RTE Waterford Writers Weekend curator, Grace Wells/Adjudicator, Mayor Declan Doocey, Margaret Organ/Arts Officer Waterford City & County Council.
Front – Waterford Poetry Prize Winners 2018 Angela Keogh/Carlow, Wilma Kenny/Belfast, Anna Marie Maher, Waterford city.


The Arts Office, Waterford City & County Council announced the winners of the Waterford Poetry Prize 2018 at the launch event of the Waterford Writers Weekend at the Imagine Festival in the Book Centre, Waterford (26/10/18).

The Waterford Poetry Prize is open to all writers currently living on the island of Ireland. This prize emerged from the influence of the late Waterford writer Seán Dunne whose poetry still continues to inspire. The adjudicator this year was the poet Grace Wells.

Mayor Declan Doocey presented the winners with their prizes.

First prize of €400 plus attendance at a writing course at the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore went to Wilma Kenny, Belfast with a poem titled ‘Return to Catalonia’. A graduate of Queen’s University Belfast with a degree in English and Psychology, in 2014 she was joint runner up in the Trócaire and Poetry Ireland poetry competition and was second in Carers UK Creative Writing Competition. She was published in the London Journal of Fiction 2016 and the 2017 anthology Washing Windows/Irish Women Write Poetry published by Arlen House. In 2018 she was featured in the Open Ear, an annual journal of creative writing by Queen’s University and contributed to Answer the Call (Whiskey and Words) a collection of stories published by Bushmills Whiskey. She is a member of the following writing groups Words for Castle Ward, Square Circle Writers and Women Aloud NI.

Second prize of €300 was awarded to Anna-Marie Maher a poet and musician living in Waterford city for her poem ‘Nana’. She has a B.A. in Music from W.I.T and a H. Dip in Education from Trinity College. She began writing poetry in 2015 when she joined a creative writing class, under the tutelage of Mark Roper. Her work explores themes of people and place, often rooted in her own childhood experience. Her work has recently been published on and she was long-listed for the Colm Tóibín International Short Story Award 2018. She is working towards her first collection.

Third prize of €200 went to Angela Keogh with her piece titled ‘An Irish Poem’. Angela is a writer, theatre director and actor. Now Co Carlow based, she works with Mend and Makedo Theatre Company. She has written a number of plays for stage. As a writer for the page, her work, both prose and poetry has appeared in several publications. She recently completed a novel, ‘You Who Sleep Safely’. Angela studied English Literature at the University of Sussex and Creative Writing at NUI Maynooth. Her work has been broadcast on Sunday Miscellany and she is currently working on her first collection of poems.

The Arts Office would like to thank everyone from around the country who entered the Waterford Poetry Prize 2018.

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