A student from Glenamaddy Community School and a student from Castlerea Community School were top winners of this year’s Poetry Aloud competition, which challenges second-level students across the country to recite a prescribed poem from memory.
The winner of the senior category and overall winner of the competition was Luke Dolan, from Glenamaddy Community School.
Castlerea Community School was well represented at the final in Dublin, producing four of the twenty two finalists performing from across twelve counties out of over 300 entries.
Sarah Joyce from Castlerea Community School was named as the winner of the competition’s Intermediate category, and received a Seamus Heaney Poetry Aloud certificate from the new Director of the NLI, Audrey Whitty for her performance.
Organised by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and Poetry Ireland, in partnership with UCC, this year’s competition drew 303 entries from schools across the island. There were 22 finalists in this year’s competition from across 12 counties, from Armagh to Laois to Cork.
The competition has been putting poetry to the forefront of students’ minds since 2007.
It has three categories: junior, intermediate, and senior. The prescribed poems for this year were ‘The Gift of Time’ by Tony Curtis (junior); ‘That Hat’ by Nikki Griffin (intermediate) and ‘The Road at my Door’ from WB Yeats’ ‘Meditations in the Time of Civil War’ (senior).
The late Seamus Heaney was a significant supporter of the competition, citing the extraordinary way in which the competition seeks to celebrate the joy of speaking and listening to poetry, as well as the fact that there is a strong North-South dimension to the competition.
Commenting, Bríd O’Sullivan of the NLI’s Learning and Outreach Department said: “Poetry Aloud aims to celebrate the art of poetry speaking and to nurture the talented second-level students who practice it.”