Enter Search Term:

A Better Tomorrow

The Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2022

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland launched their annual poetry competition on March 10th 2022. The closing date for entries is Friday 6th May 2022.

Competition is now closed for entries.

‘A Better Tomorrow’

This year, the competition explores the theme of building a better tomorrow, and how we can all contribute to it as part of a global community.

The effects of Covid-19 are still being felt throughout the world, particularly so in the developing world. People living in poverty, especially women, have been disproportionately affected by the long-term impacts of Covid-19, including a significant increase in gender-based violence.

Poets are encouraged to explore the theme, from a local to global perspective.

Categories for entry

The competition is always FREE to enter and is open to adults, at all stages in their writing careers. Many published poets have participated in the competition, including, in no particular order, Daragh Bradish, Eileen Casey, Joseph Horgan, David Butler, Lorraine Carey, Angela T. Carr, Nicki Griffin, Afric McGlinchey, John Donaghy, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, Ann Joyce, Karen O’Connor, Wilma Kenny, Mary Turley-McGrath, Eleanor Hooker, Jane Clarke, Geraldine Mitchell, David Mohan and Breda Joy.

Poems in English or Irish, written or spoken word, are welcome in two categories:

Published poets
Unpublished poets

Competition Calendar

Entries open: 10th March 2022
Deadline for applications: Friday 6th May 2022
Awards Ceremony: Online Awards Ceremony on Culture Night, September 2022

How to Enter

Entries of up to three poems per person can be made online or by post. You can submit your entry here.

You can download the Competition Rules here.


The 2021 judging panel comprises Poetry Ireland’s Poet in Residence, Catherine Ann Cullen, Aidan Clifford, retired former director of the Curriculum Development Unit, and Trócaire’s Joanne McGarry.

2022 winners



‘When I Visit Dalal’ by Lani O’Hanlon from Waterford


‘Days Like These’ by Lorraine Carey from Kerry  


WINNER:            ‘A Red Coat’ by Sighle Meehan from Galway 

RUNNER-UP:      ‘Half Life’ by R.M. Duffy from Westmeath

RUNNER-UP:      ‘Bright’ by Emma Tobin from Kildare

RUNNER-UP:      ‘Into the Light’ by Marguerite Doyle from Dublin



Each year, the winning poems are published in booklet form and presented to the winners at the awards ceremony. Winners and runners up are invited to read at our online awards ceremony on Culture Night, September 2022. Many past winners have gone on to read at events and festivals around Ireland. Winning poems will be considered for publication by the editor of Poetry Ireland Review. An anthology of some of the best poems from the competition, Future Perfect was published in 2019.



Winners: Two-week stay at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig OR a Tablet OR time in a recording studio to the value of €300 (for spoken word poets), plus subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland’s Critical Assessment Service.

Runners-up: Tickets to a literary festival to the value of €250, plus subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland’s Critical Assessment Service.

Highly commended: Book Token, plus subscription to Poetry Ireland Review for one year OR assessment of work through Poetry Ireland’s Critical Assessment Service.

Previous Winning Entries

Booklets of the winning poems from previous years are available to download here:

2018: When Love Conquers Fear
2017: Before the Storm
2016: Forced to Flee: This is our Exodus
2015: Feeling the Heat
2014: It’s up to us
2013: Today’s Children, Tomorrow’s World

For updates about the competition, please visit us on our Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/poetryireland.eigseeireann and www.facebook.com/trocaireireland,
or follow us on Twitter: @PoetryIreland and @trocaire.

Top of Page

More about the theme of ‘A Better Tomorrow’

Further Reading for Adult Poets

How do you feel about conflict and what might drive it in certain countries? What keeps you awake at night when you hear about stories like these? What do YOU think we, humanity, need to do? How should we support communities who have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict? For further inspiration, read more about our Lenten Campaign.

Latest News

Latest News

Get the Latest

Stay up-to date with Trócaire's work overseas, get news on key global social justice issues and find out about our latest campaigns in Ireland and how you can get involved.

    Donate Now