1st Prize Poetry – Linen Hall Ulster-Scots Writing Competition

I’m very, very pleased to have won 1st Prize for Poetry in the inaugural Linen Hall Ulster-Scots Writing Competition. It’s a tremendous encouragement.
The 1st Prize for Prose was won by Alan Millar. Second prize for Poetry went to Gary Morgan, and in Prose to Angeline King. The competitions were supported by the Ulster-Scots Agency.
The Linen Hall Library is opposite the city hall in Belfast. It was founded in 1788 and remains an independent library.
In the words of the late Seamus Heaney, former Patron and Honorary Member of the Library, “…the very words ’the Linen Hall Library’ represent not just books, but better hopes for the way we live.”
My poem is about the evacuations of people from Kabul in August 2021. The judges’ adjudication includes these comments:
This is a really touching & heartfelt piece of work made even stronger by the Ulster Scots in which it speaks truths in a non-narcisstic & open way to which many could relate… in the modern world it speaks of.

I am very thankful to the many people who, over recent years, have helped me gain confidence in writing in Ulster-Scots and shared their expertise, especially the facebook group Friends of the Ulster-Scots Academy; and Dr Philip Robinson for his invaluable  Ulster-Scots: A grammar of the traditional written and spoken language and The Ulster-Scots Writers’ Guide.
And there are very many people to whose enthusiasm, wit and skill I am indebted.

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