The Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Competition 2021

  • Limerick Writers Centre events

The Desmond O’Grady International Poetry Competition was inaugurated in 2012 by the late Barney Sheehan in honour of Limerick poet Desmond O’Grady. The Limerick Writers’ Centre revived the competition as part of April is Poetry Month in Limerick 2019 festival. The prizewinner of this year’s competition will be announced during April and will be invited to give a reading of his/her work during the 2022 festival.

Entry is by email to after an appropriate fee is paid by PayPal to the account of Entry fees are as follows: 1 poem €3.50, 3 Poems €5.50.

Enter by post to Limerick Writers’ Centre, c/o The Umbrella Project, 78 O'Connell St., Limerick, Ireland with appropriate fee in Euros only (cheques/ PO made out to Limerick Writers’ Centre). Your poems will not be returned, so do keep a copy.

All entries must be received before midnight Tuesday 24th March 2020.
Entries received after this time will be discarded. All entries are judged anonymously so please do not put any identifying features on the poems.

First Prize €200, Runner-Up Prize €50.

Competition Judge Eileen Sheehan lives in Killarney and is originally from Scartaglen, in the Sliabh Luachra area of County Kerry. She has read at festivals in Ireland and abroad including The Shanghai Literary Festival; the ACIS Conference in Davenport, Iowa and The Cork International Poetry Festival. Anthology publications include The Watchful Heart: A New Generation of Irish Poets (editor Joan McBreen/ Salmon Poetry); Best Loved Poems: Favourite Poems from the South of Ireland (editor Gabriel Fitzmaurice with photographs by John Reidy/ Curragh Press) and The Deep Heart's Core: Irish Poets Revisit a Touchstone Poem (editors Eugene O'Connell & Pat Boran/ Dedalus Press). One of the poems from her third collection, The Narrow Way of Souls (Salmon Poetry), is on the Leaving Certificate English Syllabus 2019 - 2022. In May of last year, she was Bealtaine Writer in Residence at The Seanchaí Kerry Writers' Museum, Listowel. A collaboration with Japanese poet and academic Maki Starfield, Duet of Lakes, was published by Junpa Books.

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