The annual Carlow College, St. Patrick’s Literary Awards and Creative Writing Showcase was held virtually for the first time on Monday the 19th of April, and a very fine occasion it was. This annual event is a celebration of Carlow College, St. Patrick’s literary talent, and this year we welcomed distinguished poet Michael Longley to present the awards. Students from across the College community – from first year to fourth year were recognised and celebrated for their achievements in prose and poetry.
The night opened with members of the second and third year Creative Writing classes who presented a showcase of their writing to virtually gathered friends and family, staff, students, former students, and members of the wider public interested in creative writing. These students provided a dramatic, moving, and varied showcase of their work: a poem from Wexford poet Brenda Whelan which found common ground with the mighty spirit of Walt Whitman, a nineteenth century great of American poetry, to Robert Ruane’s fine homage to that giant of popular music Bob Marley; to Ann-Marie Dunne’s beautiful tribute to her grandchild Saoirse whose red dress the poet connected to the poppies seen in a field of barley.
Speaking about the event, organiser and lecturer, Dr Derek Coyle spoke of the very high standard on display between the winners in poetry and prose. He continued that, ‘Carlow College, St. Patrick’s is committed to fostering and nurturing the creative abilities of its students and is steadfast in its commitment to playing a role in developing the creative life of the southeast and the midlands.’ Also, that this year ‘the standard of entries was exceptionally high, with a really strong short list of entries. The students of the college are creating really fine work.’
After the Awards, Michael Longley read a selection of his classics, iconic poems like ‘Ceasefire’ and ‘The Ice Cream Man’, as well as treating the audience to a brand-new poem, just recently completed, about spring.
Congratulations to all students who were shortlisted and a huge well done to our award winners.
- ‘Me and John Wayne’ by Marion O’Toole (Carnew, Co Wexford)
- ‘Rosenalis’ by Robert Ruane (Mountmellick, Co. Laois)
- ‘On Seeing the ‘Weeping Woman’ by Ann-Marie Dunne (Athy, Co Kildare)
- ‘Pandemic’ by Karmel Knipprath (Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny)
- ‘The Tower’ by Adam Crawford (Dublin)
- ‘The Life Lesson’ by Chloe Sweeney (Graiguecullen, Co. Carlow); and ‘Split’ by Grace Gough (Old Leighlin, Co. Carlow).
Watch back on our 2021 Student Literary Awards and Creative Writing Showcase.