On September 21st, which was Culture Night in Ireland this year, the Strokestown Awards for 2013 were launched in Galway Arts Centre. Our kind hosts made us feel very welcome, opening the doors of their beautiful gallery space on Dominic Street to a troupe of garrulous poetry people. The launch was conducted by Dr John Kenny of the Dept of English at NUI Galway, and followed a reading by our new director Martin Dyar. John spoke warmly about the prestige that surrounds the awards, remarking that the list of previous judges forms a Who’s Who of British and Irish contemporary poetry. He also noted that a winning poet can be assured of a boost to their profile, the Strokestown Awards being acknowledged universally as a marker of exceptional writing. He went on to comment on the special role of the world-renowned Strokestown House, and the pleasure for visiting writers associated with this being the central venue for events during the festival. John also expressed the enthusiasm of the Dept of English in relation to the recently agreed partnership between the Strokestown International Poetry Festival and the Creative Writing Programme at NUI Galway.
The proceedings took a twist when the singer-songrwiter Siomha Brock, en route to her own Culture Night gig in Nun’s Island, dropped in to contribute to the celebratory atmosphere of the launch. She had brought her guitar and a fellow musician, and the two of them delivered a soulful ten minute acoustic set, much to the delight of the gathering.
Pictured here is the new director of the Strokestown International Poetry Festival, Martin Dyar, with Grace Keane, one of our guests at the launch.
For entry details for the 2013 Strokestown Poetry Competitions please click here.