National Student Poetry Competition celebrates 25 years at Cavan Crystal Hotel
The winners of this year’s 25 National Student Poetry Competition 2017 was announced at a special awards ceremony at the the Cavan Crystal Hotel, Dublin Road, Cavan on Sunday 14 May 2017 at 3pm adjudicated by Heather Brett & Noel Monahan.
Luke Morgan, poet and film maker speaking to an audience of 300 plus young people at the Windows National Poetry Competition reflected the Windows motto. He said Windows are in the business of encouragement, encouraging young people to give voice to their emotions and thoughts. The former Windows winner who's film 'Pockets' is at the Cannes Film Festival this year, read from his first book of poetry 'Honest Walls'.
Mad4trad the dynamic five piece from Cavan delighted the audience with tunes in advance of their trip to Montana this summer. The real stars of the afternoon however were the young people who sat quietly and patiently during the ceremony that saw 100 certificates of merit awarded to the children. The award winners in each category shared their poems.
There was a hushed silence as Aoife Canning from Thornhill College Derry read the winning entry in the Senior Category. Her somber reminder if we need one that children all over the world remain victims of war, inequality and fear with her astonishing poem entitled ' Here upon the Beach'.
The Junior Category winner was Katie Ward from Dernakesh NS Cavan with a poem entitiled Glass Reflections. Katie loves poetry and has entered the competition for several years. Well done Katie!
The winner in the Irish Category was Kate Gaughan with her poem 'Realtai Geal' who is a student in St Joseph's Secondary School in Foxford, Co Mayo. She absolutely wowed the audience with her amazing delivery in the Irish language. Speaking to her afterwards she explained she doesn't come from Gaeltacht area, her parents haven't a word of Irish - she is just in love with the language - which was very evident.
Heather Brett editor of Windows publications said that it was a pleasure and an honour to read the poetry by the young people, all 1,400 entries from all over Ireland with children from Cork, Derry, Dublin and Galway attending the ceremony.
For over 25 years Heather and her conspirator have read thousands of words of poetry, provided workshops and prizes and watched past recipients move on to successful careers in writing, editing, education, languages and media. This voluntary effort on behalf of Windows Editors has ensured that children all over Ireland have found their voice and been enabled to express their concerns about a range of issues that are relevant to them.
Noel Monahan continued the theme of encouragement talking about the importance of a supportive environment to the growth of a poet. This support is equally important from the parents and teachers. As a former teacher at St Clare's Ballyjamesduff he is well able to witness the key role teachers and the school environment play. Many schools were well represented by their teaching staff yesterday encouraging the award winners including St Bricins, Ballyconnell Central, Kingscourt and Crubany Cavan.
Director of services at Cavan County Council Ger Finn spoke about the importance of Windows to the local arts scene. He congratulated the young writers and also the adults involved in the 25 Windows publication and exhibition currently on exhibit at Johnston Central library and both initiatives are supported by the local authority through the Creative Ireland team including arts, heritage, the museum and the library.
Mol An Óige Is Tiocfaidh Sí