The Shortlist for the Strokestown International Prize has been announced by the judges Paddy Bushe and Maura Dooley.

Please click on the poem title to read the poem.

Tony Barnstone, California, U.S.A.                          American Spoken Here  

Tony Barnstone teaches at Whittier College and is the author of 18 books and a music CD. His books of poetry include Pulp Sonnets; Beast in the Apartment; Tongue of War: From Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki; The Golem of Los Angeles; Sad Jazz: Sonnets; and Impure. He is also a distinguished translator of Chinese literature.  Awards: The Poets Prize, Grand Prize–Strokestown International, Pushcart Prize, John Ciardi Prize, Benjamin Saltman Award, NEA, NEH, and California Arts Council.

Marianne Burton, London, U.K.        Worm in Exile

 Photo credit Barney Jones

Marianne Burton’s pamphlet The Devil’s Cut (Smiths Knoll) was a Poetry Book Society Choice. Her collection She Inserts The Key (Seren) was shortlisted for the Forward First Collection Prize 2013. Her poetry has been featured in Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Poetry Ireland, Poetry London, the TLS, Guardian and Sunday Times, and on Radio Four’s Poetry Please. Her second collection is due in 2018.

Geraldine Clarkson, Warwickshire, U.K.                    Ironing Veils

   Photo credit: Hayley Madden for the Poetry Society

Geraldine Clarkson is a UK poet with roots in Connemara, Co. Galway. Her poems have appeared in The Poetry Review and Poetry(Chicago), and have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Her first pamphlet, Declare (Shearsman Books, 2016), was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and her second pamphlet, Dora Incites the Sea-Scribbler to Lament, is a Laureate’s Choice (smith|doorstop, 2016).


Majella Cullinane, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand          Op Shop, 1985

Majella Cullinane is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, Otago University. Originally from Limerick, she’s lived in New Zealand since 2008. She’s previously received the Sean Dunne Writer’s Award for Poetry and the Hennessy XO/SundayTribune Literary Award for Poetry. In 2014 she was awarded the Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago. She published her first collection, Guarding The Flame in 2011, (Salmon Poetry) and her 2nd is forthcoming in 2018. She lives in Port Chalmers with her partner Andrew and their son Robbie.


Beatrice Garland, London, U.K.       Leaving Home

After a first degree in English Literature, Beatrice Garland worked as a National Health Service clinican, teacher and researcher in psychological medicine. She has won both the National Poetry Competition, and in 2002, the Strokestown International Poetry Prize. Her first book, The Invention of Fireworks, was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She has a second collection, The Drum (Templar Press), to be published this year.

Simon Lewis, Carlow, Ireland             Conception

Simon Lewis was the winner of the Hennessy Emerging Poetry Prize and runner-up in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 2015. His first collection, Jewtown, was published by Doire Press in 2016. His website is


Patrick Maddock, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland         The Fen Woman’s Redress

Patrick Maddock is a former Hennessy Poetry Winner and has featured on the short list of the Gregory O’ Donoghue, Dromineer, Over the Edge and Listowel Single Poem Competitions. He was a participant in Faber’s On Becoming a Poet course, and an original member of the Hibernian Poet’s Group. His most recent poems appeared in Magma, Cyphers, The Stinging Fly, Rialto, The North Magazine.

Eamon McGuinness, Dublin 14, Ireland              That’s My Body

Eamon is from Dublin, Ireland. He has had poetry, fiction and memoir published in Wordlegs, Bare Hands Poetry, The Bohemyth, The Honest Ulsterman, Skylight 47, Abridged, Looking at the Stars and a story forthcoming in The Stinging Fly. He has been shortlisted for the Cuirt New Writing Poetry Prize and longlisted for the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year. He holds an M.A in Creative Writing from U.C.D.

Jacqueline Saphra, London, U.K.      Cherry Stones

 Photo credit Naomi Woddis

Jacqueline Saphra’s The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye, 2011) was nominated for The Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. A book of illustrated prose poems, If I Lay on my Back I saw Nothing but Naked Women, (The Emma Press 2014) won Best Collaborative Work at the Saboteur Awards 2015. All My Mad Mothers will be out from Nine Arches Press in May 2017. She teaches at The Poetry School.

Pnina Shinebourne, London, U.K.     The Life I Left

Pnina Shinebourne was born and grew up in Israel. She has published two pamphlets, Radioactive and A Suburb of Heaven, which won the 2014 Venture/flipped eye poetry pamphlet award. Her first collection is forthcoming in 2017 with Smokestack books. She teaches psychology at Middlesex University and lives in London.