Judges

All poems will be judged anonymously by our panel of judges;

Marie-Louise Muir, BBC Radio Ulster Arts Extra and BBC NI The Arts Show

Beverley Brown, Funeral Services N.I.

Beverley Brown joined the senior management team of James Brown & Sons, Funeral Services Northern Ireland, in 2007, after returning home to Belfast from managing a leading UK fashion store on London’s Oxford Street and was appointed to the role of General Manager in 2010. Responsible for the overall running of 19 funeral homes across Northern Ireland, Beverley has a management team of 13 and a staff of 120. She managed the inaugural ‘Carer of the Year’ Awards for James Brown & Sons earlier this year and last year oversaw the opening of a new funeral home in Newtownards and the redevelopment of the branch in Larne.Committed to local community engagement, Beverley was involved in more than 400 community events in 2011 and the company won the Co-Operative Group’s ‘Community Event of the Year’. Beverley is a Mentor for The Prince’s Trust.

Ciaran Carson, Poet and Novelist

Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast in 1948. He is the author of nine collections of poems, including Belfast ConfettiFirst Language, and Breaking News. His prose works include Last Night’s Fun, a book about Irish traditional music; The Star Factory, a memoir of Belfast; Fishing for Amber: A Long Story; and a novel, Shamrock Tea, which was long-listed for the 2001 Booker Prize. His translation of Dante’s Inferno won the 2002 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation prize, and his translation of Brian Merriman’s Cúirt an Mhéan Oíche (The Midnight Court) appeared in 2005. A translation of the Old Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge was published by Penguin Classics in 2007. For All We Know(2008) was a Poetry Book Society Choice. His Collected Poems was published in 2008. His most recent volumes of poetry are On the Night Watch (2009) and Until Before After(2010). A novel, The Pen Friend, appeared in 2009. Ciaran Carson is a member of Aosdána, the affiliation of Irish artists. Among the prizes he has won are the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize, the Cholmondeley Award, and the Forward Prize. In 2011 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by University College Dublin. A new novel, Exchange Place, will be published in Autumn 2012.

Heather Carr, Arts & Business NI
Heather Carr joined Arts & Business NI in 2002 and is Business Development Manager. Heather came from a business background working for Saatchi and Saatchi and Northern Ireland agency McCann Erickson. She currently heads up the business development function at Arts & Business NI with responsibility for business services and membership. She has managed a number of key Public Art commissions in Belfast, including KIT in Titanic Quarter and Anne in Saint Anne Square. More recently Heather has been working on initiatives to use empty retail spaces for cultural activity.