Winners of the Formsby Prize for Poetry 2015

Judging poetry is a pleasure like no other: many times did tears their salt advance towards my eyes start. The calibre of poetry presented is unprecedented. So without further to do:

1st PLACE (The Winner) –– from ‘Bed Nights’, Antoinette Sikorksi-McLoughlin

On hearing of her success, Antoinette had this to say:

‘I am very grateful for this award and honour. Tourism as intersection of national, cultural and artistic identities is close to the angry heart of my poetry. I have foraged in this undergrowth for some time. Tourism is parasitic on the commune, a kind of socialised exploration of tame worlds, suppressing the native while elevating the visitor as a kind of stone god dressed in second-hand leisure-wear. The tourist, the film crew and the government press officer are to the north of Ireland what the Troika is to Greece. Perhaps the Formsby Prize will help topple this three-faced idol. Love, Antoinette.’

(Translated from the Polish by Google.)

About the author:

Antoinette Sikorksi-McLoughlin was born of mixed Polish-Irish parentage and grew up in Bangor, Co Down, where she attended Glenlola Collegiate during Tom Paulin’s tenure as poet-in-residence. Following a campaign of loyalist hate-speech, she moved with her family to the United States where she now lives and studies.

A crown of sonnets, ‘Like Dogs, from a Distance’, was runner-up in the 2013 Hofstedder Prize. Her first collection, Eczemas, from which ‘Bed Nights’ is taken, is due for publication from Lagan Press in 2019.

2nd PLACE (The Runner-Up) –– ‘Harbouring’, Dennis McShane

On hearing of his success, Dennis released this statement:

Dennis would like to express his gratitude to the organisers and judges of the competition. He is thrilled to be placed second in their estimation and this will no doubt add to his expanding list of poetic achievements. Dennis’s work is included in numerous anthologies and he anticipates a publisher will soon commit to his debut collection.

About the author:

Dennis McShane is a founding member of Donaghadee Artists and Writers’ Collective (DAWC). For many years Dennis was a slave to venture capitalism but in 2011 he finally admitted his literary talent could not be denied. He was recently awarded an MPhil from the Connaught School of Poetry.

3rd PLACE (The Best Place, Really) –– ‘Dalkey’, Cathy Bryant

On hearing of her success, Cathy said:

I am very pleased indeed! Dead chuffed in fact.

About the author:

Cathy Bryant is a poet from Manchester whose work has appeared in a variety of publications.




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