Strokestown Launch

News from Strokestown International Poetry Festival – February 2019

Poetry Ireland launch

We are very excited to reveal the Dublin launch of this year’s festival programme – and the unveiling of our 2019 anthology – at Poetry Ireland. Keep a note of the date – Thursday April 18th at 7pm – and we will shortly announce details of who will be appearing, with both newcomers and established poets taking the stage. The plan is to showcase what Strokestown has to offer – and then, hopefully encourage lots of people to head for the Festival in County Roscommon two weeks later.

Twenty-one festivals, and counting

Our 21st Festival, which runs over May Bank Holiday weekend, starts on Poetry Day Ireland, Thursday, May 2nd, and continues until Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th. As always, there will be a must-see line up of international and Irish poets, with more than 50 readings over the weekend. There’ll be the results of six competitions, with film screenings, book launches, workshops, and music – you won’t want to miss any of it!

Hear/Here Gillian!

We are looking forward to welcoming back to Strokestown former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke. Gillian will be reading in the Percy French Hotel, Strokestown, on Saturday May 4th. Meanwhile, you can hear Gillian select some other poets’ work (including Irish poets, of course!) when she recently curated BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please programme. You can listen here:

Shortlists announced

Judges Jo Shapcott and Gerard Smyth have announced the shortlist for the International competition. Read the list of winners here and follow the link to read their poems:

Finalists for the Percy French Competition for Comic Verse are here:

and the Irish language competition, Duais de hÍde, shortlist is announced here:

Iggy McGovern has just announced the shortlist for the Roscomon Poets’ Prize, and the shortlist can be seen here:

Congratulations to everyone!

The schools’ competition is still at the judging stage, and those shortlists will be announced soon.

The winners will be announced at the Festival when you will be able to hear all the selected poems and meet many of the poets – some will be coming from far flung corners to join us in Roscommon!

Festival Anthology

A new anthology follows hot on the heels of our previous ones. Editor Margaret Hickey has been working behind the scenes with Pat Boran of Dedalus to put together the 2019 Strokestown Poetry Anthology. It will include poems from shortlisted entrants for the International Prize and the Duais de hÍde, alongside the work of the judges and other poets who will be reading at the festival in May. Meanwhile, copies of the 2017 and 2018 anthologies are still available to buy.


As in previous years, we plan to run a festival bookshop in Strokestown Park House during the festival, when you will have a wonderful opportunity to buy a wide range of poetry books (and probably get them signed by the author).

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