Winners’ Biographies


    FIRST PRIZE WINNER –  Anne Walsh Donnelly lives in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Her work has been published in various literary magazines such as Crannog, Boyne Berries, The Blue Nib, Star82 Review and Cold Coffee Stand. Her short storieshave been shortlisted in competitions such as the OTE New Writer of the Year Award (2014, 2016), Fish International Prize (2015) and the RTE Radio One Frances Mac Manus competition (2014, 2015). One of her poems was highly commended in the OTE New Writer of the Year Award (2017), another commended in the Westport Arts Festival poetry competition (2017). She was placed third in the OTE culture night poetry open mic in 2017.



    SECOND PRIZE WINNER –  Akshaya Pawaskar is a doctor practicing in India and poetry is her passion. Her poems have been published in Tipton Poetry journal, Writer’s Ezine, Efiction India, Ink drift, The Blue Nib, Her heart poetry, Awake in the world anthology by Riverfeet press and few anthologies by lost tower publications. She had been chosen as ‘Poetof the week’ on Poetry superhighway and featured writer in Wordweavers poetry contest.



    THIRD PRIZE WINNER – Bobbie Sparrow is a poetry writing Psychotherapist. She was long listed for the Over the Edge new writer’s award 3 times and short listed for the Galway University Hospital Poetry Competition 2016. Her poems have been published in both national and international journals including Orbis, Picaroon and Skylight 47. Bobbie was the Featured reader at the Over The Edge open Mic August 2017.
    She lives on the shores of Lough Corrib, Co. Galway with her husband and their two fine sons. Bobbie finds a good poem to be a good friend.


    (alphabetical order)

    Derek Coyle has published poems in Irish Pages, The Texas Literary Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Orbis, Cuadrivio, Skylight 47, Assaracus, and The Stony Thursday Book. He has been shortlisted for the Patrick Kavanagh Award (2010, 2014, 2015), and in 2012 he was a chosen poet for the Poetry Ireland ‘Introductions Series.’ In 2013 he was runner up in the Bradshaw Prize. He is a founding member of the Carlow Writers’ Co-Operative. He lectures in Carlow
    College/St Patrick’s.


    Chris Hardy has lived and travelled in Africa, Asia and Europe and now lives in London. His poems have been published in many magazines, anthologies and websites including Acumen; Orbis; Stand; Tears in the Fence; The Dark Horse; The Interpreter’s House; the North; The Rialto; Poetry Review; the blue nib; picaroon poetry; ink sweat and tears; the compass magazine and elsewhere.He is also a musician in LiTTLe MACHiNe, performing their settings of well known poems at literary festivals in the UK and abroad. ‘The most brilliant music and poetry band in the world’ according to Carol Ann Duffy.His fourth collection, ‘Sunshine at the end of the world’, was published in August 2017 by Indigo Dreams Publications

    Staggeringly beautiful, poetry as art form’. Sam Smith, The Journal 53, January 2018.
     ‘A guitarist as well as a poet Chris Hardy consistently hits the right note, never hits a false note’. Roger McGough.
    ‘There is a breadth to this collection that crosses oceans. It reinforces his reputation as a poet in his own right’. Greg Freeman, Write Out Loud.
    ’Chris writes vivid, expository poetry having the heft of short stories, often heavy with portent and mystery. Each of these poems is a story as beautifully muscular and slippery as an eel’. Peter Kennedy, London Grip, December 2017.
    ‘Sunshine at the end of the world’ is tender and affecting and feels like an elegy, a beautiful and accepting celebration of what was, what is and what is to be – a poet writing at the peak of his powers. It is a collection of humanity, compassion and wisdom’. Dino O’Mahoney, Ink Sweat & Tears, January 2018.

    Ceinwen E Cariad Haydon lives in Newcastle upon Tyne and writes short stories and poetry. She has been published on line and in print anthologies. She graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in December





    Sue Johnson’s poetry is inspired by walking in the countryside near her Worcestershire home, reading fairy-tales and eavesdropping in local cafes. Sue also has a passion for history, cooking and anything made of velvet. She is a Writing Magazine Creative Writing tutor and runs her own brand of writing workshops.




    Eithne Lannon is a poet and native of Dublin. In her writing she embraces the natural world as a medium to express various dimensions of human experience. Online in Ireland, the UK, US and Canada, she’s had work published with Headstuff, Bare Hands, Sheila-na-Gig, and BeZine. She’s been included in publications such as The Ogham Stone, Boyne Berries, Skylight 47 and FLARE.




    Polly Richardson (Munnelly) is a Dublin born poet now living and writing in Meath. She has been published both nationally and internationally in many anthologies and e-zine under the surname of Munnelly and more recently Richardson.

    She is member of Navan writers group: The Bulls Arse and Cork based group Blackwater Poetry. Polly has been heard reading at open mic nights and festivals throughout Ireland including The Blackwater International poetry festival and on live links broadcasting internationally as part of the festival 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her poems have featured on their poetry trail in 2014 and 2016.

    She has also been heard reading at; The sunflower sessions, The Collective and Dublin writer’s forum summer bash (2015 ,2016, 2017 and 2018) Good thyme Thursday sessions, Blackbird Books and 2016 she was part of the ‘Awaken Your Soul’ event that was short listed for a Sabator award in London 2017. In 2017 she travelled to Amsterdam and was heard reading in Harrlem alongside Frisian Poet Tsead Brunja as part of a collective gathering of poets and musicians.

    Some of her work has been published and appeared in the following outlets; Irish based Solstice Initiative Poetry Journals; Connections in 2012, Aqueous 2013. US based Mad Swirl Poetry Forum 2013 to 2016 where she is now a contributing poet. Songs for Julia anthology, Italian based e-zine Lotus Eater, Blue max review, Poems for Fukushima anthology and Twenty- Seven signs anthology in 2014. The Sea anthology 2015, has worked included in Boyne Berries Anthology celebrating poet Francis Ledwigs 100th centenary 2017. Blue Nib 2017 & 2018 ezine and the forth coming edition of Flare 2018

    She is currently working on her first collection.

    Michele Ring (Michèle Vassal-Ring) is originally from Southern France but writes mostly in English.

    Her two collections – “Sandgames” and “A Taste for Hemlock”, were published by Salmon Poetry.  Her poems and short stories, have appeared in anthologies and journals both here and abroad.  She lives in county Cork, with an eclectic menagerie which includes, a giant dog, some very naughty cats and an uilleann piper.


    Antoinette Rock lives in Cavan, Ireland.  Her poems have appeared in The London Reader, Revival, Windows & Authors Introduction Series No. 9, The Moth, North West Words, Skylight 47, Boyne Berries, The Blue Nib, SparkMagazine and several other popular anthologies.  Her poems have been commended in Happenstance Poetry Competition (U.K.) and Westport Poetry Prize 2017.



    Gráinne Tobin is from Northern Ireland. She grew up in Armagh, lives in Newcastle, Co Down, and was a member of the Word of Mouth Poetry Collective for the whole 25 years of its life. Books so far are Banjaxed and The Nervous Flyer’s Companion (Summer Palace Press). A third collection is to be published this year by Arlen House. Her poems are in various magazines, Word of Mouth (Blackstaff) When the Neva Rushes Backwards (Lagan Press) On the Grass When I Arrive (Liberties Press) Washing Windows (Arlen House) Something About Home (Geographies Publications) Female Lines (New Island 2017) Poetry Ireland’s archive, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s online Troubles Archive, and on a sculpture in Down Arts Centre.



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