iYeats poetry winner announced

Published 09/08/2014 | 00:00

Maeve McGowan, Marie O'Byrne, Deirdre Melvin, Winifred McNulty, Phil Lynch, Petter Sirr, Catherine Phil McCarthy.

This year's winner of the iYeats poetry competition is Winifred McNulty, from Mountcharles in Donegal.

She was selected from hundreds of entries for her poem, Tawnytallon.

The contest is run by the Hawk's Well theatre during the Yeats international summer school. It has been ongoing since 2009.

iYeats is an online poetry challenge for both Irish and international people.

It has a prestigious reputation for the calibre of entrants and judges.

This year's judges are Peter Sirr and Catherine Phil MacCarthy.

Highly recommended in the ceremony were Connie Roberts, Phil Lynch and Heather Richardson.

Winifred won €500, while the commended poets received €50 each.

Judge Peter Sirr said: "The poem that spoke to both of us was Tawnytallon.

"It is a quiet and meditative poem, with wonderful, rich phrasing which creates a memorable sense of place and people."

The winning poem:

Tamhnaig an tSalainn

The grassed fort shrinks like an old muscle,

tired of fighting rain.

Dockens fill the haggard, a ring of sycamore

grows skin and lidded eyes.

Though the redcurrants are gone,

the old woman still tastes berries.

The house sleeps rough, its small rooms

and careful trunk open to rain and swallows.

Fields divided between brothers,

each gift a small parcel of herbs and whin.

The people hard as grit, farmed salt,

they gathered whelk, burnt shells for lime.

Everything was for sale, except this;

their father making letters with a stick in ash,

so words might warm them,

and stories settle in their flint bones.

Sligo Champion

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