Poetry Prize contest winner selected

‘Woman’ by Therese Pace

© George Bosela.

We received many worthy entries to our Poetry Prize contest, but in the end we could only choose one winner. It gives us great pleasure to announce the winning poem, ‘Woman’ by Therese Pace.


To her, Nature has been kind and cruel.
Fitted her with a heart that walks her
strong, fragile, her soft pulpous endocarp
tender with pain, flexed with resilience.

In her special ordinariness she watches
the world go by; suffers at its hands;
appeases, dispensing with favours like
bucketfuls of rain upon the sidewalk.

A buttress, earthquakes will not shift her.
Grappling, she vigils on midnight fevers;
dims, recedes, draping her corporeity
around her sentiments like a tee shirt.

Her kinkiness has punch. Her dignity
is weighed with mien. She carries creation
on her navel like a pinafore. Man installs
himself in the palace of her heart like

original sin. Because of him she grows
boughs upon trees, reaches for the moon;
dwarfs, thrifting on choices and desires,
learning to soar and nosedive.

Her breasts are milk and honey. On them
she wears her talisman like a scimitar,
her paradox like a broach: lantern,
olive sprig, sponge and kernel stone.

You can watch Hearth by Claire Power, the video that inspired the poem, right here.

Launched in January 2013, the Poetry Project – a unique online event that pairs contemporary Irish poetry with video art – is about to reach its conclusion. To celebrate, Poetry International hosted running a competition in partnership with the Poetry Project. We asked our readers to send us their own poems in response to one of the videos on the Poetry Project website. We were honestly overwhelmed by the response, and it has been a very difficult set of descisions for the various judging teams. We have all really enjoyed reading the inspiring responses to the videos on the Poetry Project.

Entries were judged on the qualiy of the poem itself, but also for how they interacted with the videos that inspired them. Honourable mentions to Jim Pascual Agustin, Tsitsi Ngwenya, Ravi Shanker, and Celeste Schantz.

The Poetry Project has been supported by Culture Ireland as part of the Cultural Programme of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU, 2013, with additional support from Foras na Gaeilge.

© Poetry International  
• Links (Ireland)
• Funding FAQs (Ireland)

Subscribe to the newsletter

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us (international)  

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us (Dutch)