The Funeral Services Northern Ireland Annual National Poetry Competition

About the Competition 

The inaugural Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition ran in 2012 as an opportunity for poets from across the country to showcase their talents and highlight how poetry relates to the celebration of life and its relevance in society today. In the years since, organisers have witnessed a strong passion for writing and reciting poetry from hundreds of people right across Northern Ireland. The competition has grown through the years to become a firm fixture in the arts calendar in Northern Ireland.


Thank you to everyone who has embraced the Funeral Services Northern Ireland Annual National Poetry Competition over the past 5 years. Poems from our four overall winners: Stephanie ConnMark CooperRoss Thompson and Stephen Sexton are available to read here. We look forward to receiving your entries on the National Poetry Day theme of ‘Messages’ before the closing date of 11 September 2016 and hope to meet many of you at our local recital events which are hosted right across the country in 2016.


Book symbolWhy Poetry?

Poetry is a unique way of expressing meaning and communicating emotion to the reader and there is a long tradition of poetry in emotional situations. It is for this reason that poetry is so commonly used when struggling with the loss of a loved one.

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What Should I Write About?

Each year the competition mirrors the theme of National Poetry Day. So far we have enjoyed reading personal interpretations of the themes Stars, Reflection, Remembrance, Light and have received many touching and impressive poems. We are hoping that this year’s National Poetry Day theme: “Messages” will continue this trend and inspire aspiring unpublished as well as published poets to enter the fifth annual Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry competition in 2016.

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How Do I Enter?


Poems are accepted using our online entry form up to midnight on 11 September 2016. Please read the terms and conditions in full before entering.

Entry opens following the launch of the fifth Annual Funeral Services Northern Ireland National Poetry Competition on World Poetry Day – 21 March 2016.

All competition entry queries will be answered in a public forum on our website.

If the competition has inspired you to start writing have a look at our  judges top tips from the 2015 competition to get you started.