A Castlerea Community School student has been announced among the winners of this year’ Poetry Aloud competition, which challenges second-level students across the country to recite a prescribed poem from memory.
Sarah Joyce from Castlerea Community School has been named as the winner of the competition’s Intermediate category and received a Seamus Heaney Poetry Aloud certificate from the new Director of the National Library of Ireland (NLI), Audrey Whitty, for her performance.
Castlerea Community School was well represented at the final of the NLI and Poetry Ireland event in Dublin, producing four of the 22 finalists out of over 300 entries.
The prescribed poems for this year were: ‘The Gift of Time’ by Tony Curtis (junior); ‘That Hat’ by Nikki Griffin (intermediate) and ‘The Road at my Door’ from WB Yeats’ ‘Meditations in the Time of Civil War’ (senior).
The late Seamus Heaney was a significant supporter of the competition, citing 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.
Commenting, Bríd O’Sullivan of the NLI’s Learning and Outreach Department said:
“The competition has been a highlight in the National Library of Ireland calendar for more than a decide. We keep the manuscripts of some of Ireland’s greatest poets in our collections, and it is wonderful to hear their works spoken with such emotion and skill during the Poetry Aloud competition each year.
Speaking about their support of the competition, Moira Cardiff from Poetry Ireland said: “Poetry Ireland is delighted to be back with our partners at the National Library of Ireland for the Poetry Aloud final. It is an absolute pleasure to listen to these young voices from around the country reading their chosen poems.
“Throughout the competition the level of engagement from both teachers and students has been particularly encouraging and we wish all finalists and indeed participants the best of luck in what promises to be a bright future ahead of them”.