Wake: Up to Poetry
Picking a Poem for Ireland
Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster, is currently promoting a campaign called A Poem for Ireland. This contest began in September when RTÉ asked followers to submit stand-out poems from the past century that encapsulated the Irish experience. With their nominations, followers submitted explanations for why their favorite should earn the recognition. Over a thousand submissions and 130 poems later, the judging committee has narrowed the search down to 10 remarkable works on which Irish citizens may vote.
These poems are posted on the RTÉ website along with video and audio clips. Book clubs and teachers are encouraged to incorporate the finalists’ poems into their discussions. In addition, the RTÉ television arts program The Works is featuring mini-documentaries of two poems each week until the culmination of the contest on March 8th.
The purpose of the contest is to ignite conversation about Irish poetry, celebrating the country’s heritage and history from the past 100 years. You can join in the conversation and comment on your favorite poems on RTÉ’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
WFU Press is happy to see some of our favorite poets in the shortlist of finalists, such as Louis MacNeice and Paula Meehan. Check out these and the rest of the finalists here and learn more about the contest and its media coverage. We encourage you to engage in the conversation as well: what poem would you nominate and why?