- 30 Apr 21
Ireland celebrated the annual Poetry Day 2021 on April 29th, shining a light on literary talent around the county.
Yesterday marked the seventh year in which Ireland celebrated Poetry Day, a series of cultural events hoping to bring people together with the power of words.
With the COVID restrictions still at place, everyone was encouraged to participate in the celebration from home. This time, Poetry Ireland held many exciting online activities to make everyone feel a part of the community once again, and announced the winner of the esteemed Moth Poetry Prize.
Niamh O’Donnell, Director of Poetry Ireland, said that after a year of social isolation we can certainly see the power of poetry an its ability to help us through the difficulties.
“This year, Poetry Day Ireland takes place again as a virtual festival, and we’re delighted it gives everyone, no matter where they are, the opportunity to participate and engage with others,” she said.
“Poetry Day offers an opportunity whether online or not, to take a moment to enjoy, appreciate and celebrate poetry. Our theme this year of ‘New Directions: Maps and Journeys’ is a hopeful one as we can review the paths we’ve taken and we can finally look forward to being able to plan travelling further afield again, in reality or in our imaginations.”
This year’s Poetry Day theme was ‘New Directions: Maps and Journeys’, which can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically. Just as people use maps for navigation on land, they also travel though life and within their imagination taking countless roads that lead one to another.
Following a tradition, Poetry Ireland chose a few Bright Ideas via an open call. The selected projects were offered a grant to showcase their event on the Poetry Day Ireland. Find out about the 2021 talented beneficiaries on the official website here.
As a part of the program, Poetry Ireland is featuring a series of inspirational Pocket Poems available on their social media and at PoetryDay.ie.
Last night, Poetry Ireland announced the winner of The Moth Poetry Prize during a special award ceremony. The €6,000 prize went to Michael Lavers for his previously unpublished poem 'Chaos Soliloquy'.
The Moth Poetry Prize shortlist was chosen by Nick Laird, current chair of creative writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre.
The publishers of The Moth magazine, which sponsors the international prize, offered the cash fund this year to deliver eight prizes of €250 to commended poets, as well as €6,000 for the overall winner and €1,000 for each of the shortlisted poets.
The shortlist included two poets from the UK and US respectively, while the commended poems span Ireland, Italy, Britain, the US, Australia and New Zealand.
'A Week in March' by Rowland Bagnall, 'For the Poet Who Writes to Me While Standing in Line at CVS, Waiting for his Mother’s Prescription' by Suzanne Cleary, 'Chaos Soliloquy' by Michael Lavers and 'In the dream of the cold restaurant' by Abigail Parry, a previous winner of the prize, each made the shortlist.
Watch Lavers performing a reading of 'Chaos Soliloquy' below: