Harmony Community Trust organised a second poetry competition to follow the success of their fortieth anniversary venture into this field in 2015. Writers were challenged to imagine and interpret ‘community‘, a subject relevant to the Trust’s work. The competition was open to school children and to adult poets.
Harmony Community Trust is best known for its work at Glebe House in Kilclief, Strangford where, over the years, thousands of disadvantaged young people and socially isolated older people from around the world have joined in projects to raise awareness develop their confidence and sense of well-being as well as improving community relationships. It provides opportunities for people from different backgrounds to live, play, work and relax together in a unique residential setting. Participants learn to cooperate to create an environment in which differences and distinctiveness are acknowledged, accepted, respected, explored and valued. The Trust caters for people of all ages from disadvantaged and segregated areas of Northern Ireland.
Kathleen McCracken took the distinguished achievement of being placed first and second overall, with her poems ‘Basil and the Air Scoop’ and ‘High Fidelity’ respectively.
On her victory, Kathleen said, “It is an honour to have my poetry recognised by Glebe House and Harmony Community Trust. The folks there are doing outstanding work, and I’m pleased to be able to share my writing with the community.”
Glen Wilson came third with ‘An Eurasian Magpie sees the Coast of Lesbos’, with joint fourth place going to Annemarie Mullan (‘The Ropes’) and Michael Ridgway (‘The Bus to Cookstown’)
Poems by Nancy Graham, Mel McManon and Geraldine O’Kane were also highly commended in the competition by judge Leontia Flynn.
A booklet of the winning and shortlisted poems is available to download from the Glebe House website.
Read a review of Kathleen McCracken’s Double Self Portrait with Mirror: New & Selected Poems (1978-2014), published by Editoria ex Machina, 2014, here.