Laois student is award winning Trócaire poet

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Laois student is award winning Trócaire poet

Kiela Cagney

A Laois student is among this year's award winning Trócaire poets

Kiela Cagney, 13, from Portarlington was one of the winners in the annual Trócaire poetry competition this year. Kiela received a runner up prize in the ‘Primary Senior’ category for her poem ‘Windows’.

The 2019 competition prize winners gathered in Dublin recently to receive their awards. Trócaire’s annual poetry competition, in association with Poetry Ireland, uses the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. The winners of this year’s competition took part in a showcase event in Poetry Ireland’s centre in Dublin on Culture Night. The event also included the launch of an anthology of fifty of the best poems from the eight years of the competition

 President Michael D. Higgins said, "The Trócaire/Poetry Ireland competition is an important event in Ireland’s literary calendar bringing together the voices of new and emerging poets, including some as young as eight years old, with those of established and distinguished writers. That is such an imaginative challenge and I am delighted to know that many thousands of poets have responded since the inception of the Trócaire/Poetry Ireland competition in 2012."

This year the competition explored the theme ‘Land is Life’. Poets were encouraged to explore a local to global perspective, and reflect on Ireland’s own history of hunger and migration.

The winners - from young primary school students to published adult poets - tackled the theme with creativity and poignancy. Winning poems exploring themes related to migration, conflict, climate change and mankind's connection to land.

Patricia Groves from Trócaire said, "The standard of this year’s competition entries was incredibly high. We would like to congratulate all this year’s winners and runners-up, and thank everyone who entered."

The competition is open to young people, children and adults alike, at all stages in their writing careers. There are six categories in the competition: two for adults and four for children and teens: published and non-published adult poets; first level junior and senior cycle students; and second-level junior and senior cycle students.

This year’s panel of judges included published author and poet Geraldine Mitchell, who was the overall winner of our very first poetry competition in 2012, together with Aidan Clifford, formerly of CDETB’s Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire’s Patricia Groves.

Each year, the winning poems are published in booklet form and presented to the winners at the awards ceremony. The booklets are also distributed at events throughout the year, including poetry readings, Culture Night, literary festivals and schools workshops, ensuring a wide readership.