Skip to main content
Arts and HealthNewsroom

Poems for Patience Poetry Competition 2024

By 16 February 2024No Comments

Saolta Arts is seeking entries for its annual poetry competition. The poetry competition is run in conjunction with the Poems for Patience series as part of Cúirt International Festival of Literature, which takes place from April 23 – 28. The closing date for the competition is Monday, March 11, 2024.

The prize as part of the annual poetry competition includes: the winner will have their poem published and displayed on the Arts Corridor of University Hospital Galway as part of the 2024 Poems for Patience series. Poems for Patience is a long running series which over the past twenty years has featured poems by leading Irish and international poets such as Seamus Heaney, Philip Schultz, Jane Hirschfield, Michael Longley, Naomi Shihab Nye, Vona Groarke, Tess Gallagher and many more. The poems, after exhibition on the Arts Corridor, are displayed in waiting areas throughout Galway University Hospitals and in 2024 will be distributed to our public hospitals in Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Roscommon, Sligo and Letterkenny.

The winner will also be:

• invited to read his or her winning poem at the launch of the 2024 Poems for Patience at Cúirt International Festival of Literature On Tuesday April 23,
• provided with accommodation in Galway if travelling for one night during the festival,
• given a copy of their poem printed and framed as a Poem for Patience poster.

Margaret Flannery Arts Director ‘Poems For Patience competition now in its twelfth year is a longstanding initiative within the Saolta Arts programme. We still remember Kevin Higgins, who served as the judge for this competition from the beginning until his passing in 2023. Despite our sorrow, we are grateful that his wife, Susan Millar DuMars, will honour his memory by continuing to oversee the competition. The competition will persist in nurturing emerging poets on their creative path, in keeping with Kevin’s vision.

Criteria details include: poems entered in the competition should be no more than 32 lines long. They must be the original work of the entrant. Poems previously published in magazines or poetry collections are eligible. Multiple entries are accepted; poets can enter as many poems as they wish.

Entry fees: to enter one poem the fee is €10. If you enter two or more poems the entry fee is €7.50 per poem i.e. to enter two poems it costs €15, to enter three poems €22.50 and so on. Payment can be made online or alternatively by cheque or postal order payable to Saolta Arts.

Entries should be sent by email to or by post to Saolta Arts, c/o University Hospital Galway, Newcastle Road, Galway.

Please include your contact details – name, address, email address, telephone and title of poem(s) within the body of the email and attach each entry separately.  If you are posting  your entry do not put your name on the poems; please include your contact details on a cover letter. This is to keep all poets anonymous during the judging process.

The closing date for the competition is Monday, March 11, 2024.

Saolta Arts will announce the short list on Thursday March 28 and reveal the winning entry on Friday April 5.

For any other queries contact Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Saolta Arts, Galway University Hospitals, Newcastle Road, Galway Tel: +353 (0)87 1478394 Email:


Susan Millar DuMars has published five poetry collections with Salmon Poetry. The most recent, Naked: New and Selected Poems, appeared in 2019. She is working on her next collection, due out in 2025. She is also editing a posthumous collection of Kevin’s poems, due out this year. Susan writes fiction as well, and has twice received an Arts Council bursary for her short stories.

Image credit: Saolta Arts

// donateButton