Copies of the anthology with all the poems listed below are available via our publications page.
‘Sea of Jazz' by Tim O’Leary
Judge's comments: What I look for in a poem is its music; that element within the words that plays on the ear and stays long after the poem on its page has been set aside. I also want a poem to startle me in some way; to contain something unexpected. 'Sea of Jazz' lives up to the promise of its title. It blends oceanic and jazz language to create a sustained metaphor throughout. The repetition of vowel and diphthongal sounds, together with alliteration and the natural movement achieved by cross and slant rhyme in its couplets make it a joy to eye and ear. A clear winner!
'At Sea' by Karen J. McDonnell
Judge's comments: It is difficult for a poem to live up to a title like 'At Sea', but this poem does so, while creating and maintaining its sense of mystery through its use of a refrain woven through the stanzas. The ‘limpets’ in the opening stanza are echoed in ‘limpet mine’ in the closing stanza. Its language, with its rounded vowel-sounds and sibilants, is musical. Strong verbs carry the poem forward to that chilling surprise of the last line, which sends the reader back into the poem again. Wonderful! And what a wonderful line ‘Waves frenzy ashore’ is!
'Anadromous Vocabulary' by Majella Kelly
Judge's comments: 'Anadramous Vocabulary' is a rhythmic poem with a clear narrative thread and fresh and consistent imagery. In following the chronology of the salmon’s life cycle from fresh water to sea and back to fresh, it carries the reader along with the musicality of its language, the momentum of its three-line stanzas. The pauses between its sections allow the reader space to appreciate the broad sweep of its vocabulary, and the erotic tone reflects what this poem essentially is: a love poem to words, water and the semi-mythical salmon.
Highly Commended: (in no particular order)
‘Sea Sense' by Marie McSweeney
'Coastal Storm' by Michael Farry
'The Road to the Shore' by Karen O’Connor
'Capsized' by Brian Kirk
Commended: ( in no particular order )
‘The Seven Tears of the Seal Song' by Majella Kelly
'Along the Western Sea' by Siobhan Flynn
'Skating through the Atlantic' by Gabriel Griffin
'The Dubfish' by Josh Ekroy
'Mulranny Message' by Jean Tuomey
'Invocation' by Scott Elder
'Tiree: Ringing Stone' by Ruth Aylett
'Tidal Flow' by Alwyn Marriage
'Hanging out with the Stars' by Liz Mellon
'Harbour Miniature' by David Butler
'A Caravan in Kilkee' by Maurice Devitt
'Seasonal' by Marie Naughton
First Prize, under-14s
‘Queen of the World' by Saoirse Molly Joy
Second Prize, under-14s
‘Sight of the Sea' by Niamh McCarthy
Third Prize, under-14s
‘This land holds a rich history' by Saoirse Molly Joy
'Beetley Beast' by Finn MacPhiaraic
'Glandore School Sailing' by Saoirse Molly Joy