Strokestown International Prize 2019

Lawrence & Janet Kessenich (Sponsors), Majella Kelly (1st), Keith Payne (2nd, Rebecca Farmer (3rd, Jo Shapcott & Gerard Smyth (Judges) (L-R)

Shortlist 2019

Biographies 2019




Ron Carey

Dublin, Ireland


Rebecca Farmer

London, England


Justin Hunt


Fall Fest Parade, Some Years Before My Mother’s Death

Majella Kelly

Galway, Ireland

Virginia Creeper

Shannon Kuta Kelly

Galway, Ireland

Where were you when the shots were fired

Geraldine Mitchell

Mayo, Ireland

As My Daughter Flies North I Examine My Fear

Keith Payne

Kildare, Ireland

A Child's fare

Robert Powell

North Yorkshire, England

Bay Window/ Finland

Shelley Puhak



Glen Wilson

Armagh, Northern Ireland

Fly Fishing in Mr Richardson’s Class


The Prizes will be awarded on Sunday May 4th in Strokestown Park House, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland at 8pm.

Competition Now Closed

This competition will be launching on 17th September 2018.  Closing date 7th December 2018.  Prizes awarded on the 5th May 2019 in Strokestown.


Strokestown International Poetry Competition 2019

1st Prize 2,000

Plus A week-long residency at Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat

2nd Prize 700

3rd Prize 500

Reading fees of 300 for 7 shortlisted poets

Competition opens 17th September 2018

Competition closes 7th December 2018

Judges: Jo Shapcott & Gerard Smyth

The 10 shortlisted poems will be printed in the Strokestown Anthology 2019

Prize winner announced in Strokestown 5th May 2019


Judge: Jo Shapcott


Photo Credit: Rachel Shapcott

Jo Shapcott was born in London. Poems from her three award-winning collections, Electroplating the Baby (1988), Phrase Book (1992) and My Life Asleep (1998) are gathered in a selected poems, Her Book (2000). She has won a number of literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Collection, the Forward Prize for Best Collection and the National Poetry Competition (twice). Tender Taxes, her versions of Rilke, was published in 2001. Her most recent collection, Of Mutability, was published in 2010 and won the Costa Book Award. In 2011 Jo Shapcott was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

Judge: Gerard Smyth


Gerard Smyth is a poet, critic and journalist. He has published nine collections of poetry, including, The Yellow River,  with artwork by Seán McSweeney ( Solstice Arts Centre, Navan ),  A Song of Elsewhere (Dedalus Press 2015), and The Fullness of Time: New and Selected Poems ( Dedalus Press, 2010 ). He has also published two limited edition sequences of poems with The Salvage Press: We Like It Here Beside the River, with a drawing by artist Donald Teskey, in 2014 and After Easter, with a drawing by artist Brian Maguire in 2016.  He received the 2012 O'Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the University of St Thomas in Minnesota and is co-editor, with Pat Boran,  of If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song ( Dedalus Press ) which was Dublin's One City One Book in 2013. He is a member of Aosdána and Poetry Editor of The Irish Times.

Anam Cara

Anam Cara retreat for writers and artists, Co Cork

Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat is awarding a week-long residency to the first prize winner of the Strokestown International Poetry Prize for a poem in the English Language category. Located just outside the colourful village of Eyeries on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Anam Cara is a tranquil spot, structured to provide support and sanctuary for people working in the creative arts. It offers private and common working rooms as well as five acres of walking paths, thirty-four nooks and crannies, a river cascades and a river island, gardens, and a labyrinth meadow. Editorial consultation is also available. The prize is valued at €700. The dates of the residency will be arranged between the writer themselves and Anam Cara.

Percy French Prize for witty verse

You might also have a witty poem to enter in our Percy French Competition.  Click HERE for details

Online Entry Form