Jack McMonagle from Tarbert, a third year student attending Tarbert Comprehensive School, has successfully competed in the semi-final of the ninth annual “Poetry Aloud Competition”, organised by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland.
Jack will now proceed to the national final, which will take place in the National Library of Ireland in Dublin today 1st December. The event will see thirty-one students from across the country compete in the Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories for the Seamus Heaney Poetry Aloud Award.
Poetry Aloud is an annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary school students across the island of Ireland and was launched in 2006 as Yeats Aloud, becoming Poetry Aloud in 2007. Since then, it has grown enormously from just a few hundred entries to 1,800 entries in 2017.
Jack participated in the preliminary competition with participants who travelled from schools nationwide. He is looking forward to competing in today’s final. Each category winner will receive €300 as well as book tokens to the value of €300 for the winner’s school library. An overall winner will be chosen from the three category winners and that student will receive The Seamus Heaney Perpetual Trophy, a further €200 and a book.
The late Seamus Heaney was a significant supporter of Poetry Aloud. In 2009, he was presented with the David Cohen Prize for Literature by the British Library. In addition to the main award, the winner each year nominates the recipient of a subsidiary prize. In nominating Poetry Aloud for the award, Seamus Heaney cited the extraordinary way in which the competition seeks to celebrate the joy of speaking and listening to poetry as well as the fact that there is a strong North-South dimension to the competition.