Strokestown International Poetry Festival

May Bank Holiday Weekend, 2 to 4 May 2025

2024 Festival Highlights

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The Strokestown International Poetry Festival was founded in 1999, taking place annually on the first weekend of May, in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon.

The weekend provides a world-renowned forum for excellence in poetry. Strokestown is famous for the large audiences that attend all readings and allied to the welcome, the friendliness and the scenery, the weekend is an unforgettable experience and a thrilling immersion in contemporary poetry.

‘Our mission is to showcase contemporary poetry, local, national and international, foster the development of emerging writers and consolidate poetry in local cultural life, bringing it to the widest possible audience’.

Books for Breakfast podcast,
with Enda Wyley and Peter Sirr.
Episode 62, all about Strokestown International Poetry Festival.
Click below to listen.

2024 Programme at a Glance

Friday 3rd May

7.30pm Café:

Roscommon writers read: Gerry Boland, Louise G. Cole, Jessamine O’Connor & Michael O’Dea. €8

9.00pm Café:

Poetry Reading with Rita Ann Higgins & Thomas Lynch. €10

Saturday 4th May

10.30 –1.00 pm Garden Teahouse / Attic:

Poetry Workshop: Writing Nature Poetry: Presence, Loss & Restoration. €45

Join poet Jane Clarke to explore how we can write vivid and arresting poetry inspired by the natural world. We will read a range of contemporary nature poems with an eye to the role of the poet at this time of environmental crisis. With prompts and guidance, we will generate new work and we will also consider practices to further develop our writing.

11.00am Stables:

Film screening: Learning Gravity/The Undertaker, a documentary directed by Cathal Black about Irish American poet and undertaker, Thomas Lynch and both will be in attendance. €8

12.15pm Stables:

Bilingual poetry reading with Celia de Fréine & Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair. €8

2.00pm Stables:

Launch: Washing Windows IV: Irish Women Write Poetry with readings of new poems by Liz McManus, Jackie Lynam, Phyl Herbert, Shauna Gilligan, Sile Agnew, Mary Rose Callaghan & Carmel Uí Cheallaigh among many others.

3.30pm Stables:

Book launch: Tony Curtis & Gerard Reidy will present new work.

5.00pm Stables:

Poetry reading by Patrick Deeley & Enda Wyley. €8

7.30 pm Café:

An evening poetry reading with Jane Clarke, Pat Boran & Mary O’Donnell.  €10

9.00pm Café:

Los Lorcas: Poetry in Concert, poets Partridge Boswell and Peter Money, and guitarist Nat Williams, fuse poetry and music in a passionate and surprising mash-up and featuring the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, William Butler Yeats, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Eavan Boland, Van Morrison, Federico Garcia Lorca and Seamus Heaney, among others. €10

Sunday 5th May

11.00am Stables:

What Poems Look Like. Poet and short filmmaker Pat Boran introduces his prize-winning poetry films, and explores the interplay of words, images, and music to produce a distinctive poetry in motion. Followed by Q&A. €8

12.15 Stables:

Launch of Cyphers 97 and featuring contributors TBA.

2.00pm Stables:

Announcement by Enda Wyley of Strokestown International Poetry Festival Competition winner, and with readings from the shortlisted poets and overall winner.

4.00pm Stables:

Novelist and festival curator, Belinda McKeon delivers the Joan McBreen lecture on poetry. €8

6.00pm Stables:

Book Launch: Eva Bourke, Geraldine Mills & Joseph Woods present new work.

7.15pm Stables:

Poetry reading: Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin & Peter Sirr will read from recent work. €8

9.00pm Café:

Brilliant Mysteries: Music and Poetry with Duke Special & James Harpur.  Poetry and songs have much in common yet they possess unique characteristics. Join Duke Special and James Harpur as they take you on a fascinating journey to explore the inspiration that comes from different art forms colliding. €15

~ Onsite Festival Bookseller Alan Hayes, Arlen House ~

2024 Featured Speakers

2024 Featured Speakers

Previous Winners of the Strokestown International Poetry Prize

1999 – Vona Groarke

2000 – Sheila O’Hagan

2001 – Martin Dyar

2002 – Daniel Holmes

2003 – Beatrice Garland

2004 – Paddy Bushe

2005 – James Greene

2006 – Cahal Dallat

2007 – Maureen Boyle

2008 – Tony Barnstone

2009 – Padraig Rooney

2010 – Lawrence Kessenich

2011 – Jane Routh

2012 – Jim Maguire

2013 – Jude Nutter

2014 – Jane Robinson

2015 – John Murphy

2016 – John Murphy

2017 – Patrick Maddock

2018 – Matthew Barton

2019 – Majella Kelly

2020 – Jane Wilkinson

2021 – No Competition

2022 – No Competition

2023 – No Competition

2024 – Thomas Brezing

2024 Event Sponsors

SPH Logo
Poetry Ireland
Arts Council
Joan McBreen w logo
Callery Family w logo
Dept logo SIPF
sliabh bawn pic Cropped

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