A MAJOR national poetry title made its way to Dan Paddy Andy's Cross in Lyreacrompane this week after local bard Mike Gallagher (pictured right) clinched the Desmond O'Grady International Poetry Competition in Limerick.
Mike's poem 'Dosser' was chosen as the winner from a longlist of no fewer than 780 poems, representing 32 countries in all. This was reduced to a shortlist of 10, judged by Moyvane poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice and announced at a packed White House public house in Limerick on Wednesday.
For Mike - who is hoping to publish his first collection in 2013 - the prize came as valauble recognition after several brushes with award success in recent times. Mike - who was supported by members of his local Seanchaí Writers' Group at the White House - was shortlisted for the prestigious Hennessy Award last year and won the Eigse Micheál Hartnett competition in 2010.
"It was a close call as it was an almost barren year!" Mike laughed. "I am delighted with the award because I was up against several eminent international poets."
Apart from plans for the publication of his first poetry collection, Mike continues to edit The First Cut, an online literary journal making waves in the world of poetry.