Ireland Chair of Poetry Opens Call for Submissions to Special Commemorative Anthology

The Ireland Chair of Poetry is delighted to be able to invite submissions to an anthology of original poems, essays and reflections by emerging poets in response to the work of creative mentors, to celebrate the work of the Ireland Chair of Poetry.

The Ireland Chair of Poetry was established in 1998, to commemorate the awarding of the 1995 Nobel Prize for Literature to Seamus Heaney and, more widely, as a way to permanently mark and recognise Ireland’s extraordinary literary achievements. As we approach the 25th anniversary of Heaney’s Nobel Prize win, we look to mark the occasion by honouring the contribution and legacy of writers like Seamus Heaney, the Chairs of Poetry and their peers, among a new generation of poets emerging in the literary landscape.

Conceived and edited by the awardees of the inaugural Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award 2019, Mícheál McCann, Summer Meline, Marcella L.A. Prince and Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, the editors wish to recognise this tradition and celebrate the unique and formative relationships that exist between new writers and their creative mentors. We hope, through this anthology, to spark an intergenerational dialogue by bridging established, well-known names in Irish literature with newfound, diverse voices, and illuminate the literary heritage, traditions, themes and resonances unfolding in contemporary Irish poetry.

We invite new/emerging poets to respond to this call by submitting work inspired by a mentor who has had a tangible, direct or indirect, impact on their life, work, imagination, themes, style and/or practice. This can take the form of either:

— an original poem, inspired by one of a mentor’s poems/collections/oeuvre, including a short note (250 words) on why the work/poet that inspired it is particularly meaningful to you; or

— a personal or critical reflection, essay, letter or other form of print media engaging with some aspect of a mentor’s practice, process, creative or critical thought in the form of lectures, talks, archival materials and/or personal interaction or correspondences.

The submission and eligibility guidelines are available to download by clicking here.

The equality, diversity and inclusion form is available to download by clicking here.

The submission window is open from Wednesday May 6th and will close at midnight on Monday July 6th.

To submit please email your work with a brief covering letter and a short biography (80 words) to: 

All queries should be directed to:


Mícheál McCann is from Derry. His poems appear in Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee Lit and The Tangerine. His work also appears elsewhere: an interview with Mark Doty on the AIDS crisis, elegy and optimism published in PN Review 248; libretto for the Derry International Choral Festival, and in a feature for BBC Radio Foyle. A graduate of the MA in Poetry programme from the Seamus Heaney Centre, he is currently a PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. His research finds itself at the intersections of AIDS writing, queer theory and positive affect. Mícheál is the recipient of a 2019/20 ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and 2018 River Mill Bursary. His first pamphlet of poems is forthcoming from Green Bottle Press in 2020.

Summer Meline was born and raised in Northern California. She received her BA in English Literature at University of California, Berkeley, studying with Thom Gunn and Robert Hass. In 1999, she moved to Ireland and established a career in the fintech sector. She has been facilitating the Donaghmede Library Writers’ Group for five years and liaises with the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature office to help promote and expand the creative arts available in public libraries. She is a recent graduate of the MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin.

Marcella L.A. Prince grew up in Wisconsin and completed her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Minnesota – Morris. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in literary magazines including The Tangerine, The Open Ear, and The Lonely Crowd, and have been featured on The Seamus Heaney Centre Podcast. She has read her work at events held at the Belfast Book Festival, Lifeboat Sessions and the London Irish Centre. She is a recent graduate of the MA in Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, where she is currently continuing her studies as a PhD candidate with a focus on Midwestern-American landscape poetry.

Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe is a poet, pacifist and fabulist. Her poems are widely published/forthcoming, most recently in Banshee, Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, Winter Papers; featured on RTÉ Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme, Arts Council of Ireland’s Poetry Day film specials, and Poetry Ireland’s Words Lightly Spoken podcast; hosted in the Irish Poetry Reading Archive; and commissioned for the Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and Rio 2016 Olympic Truce celebrations. She is the recipient of a Next Generation Artist Award 2019/20 from the Arts Council of Ireland, Jaipur Literature Festival’s First Book Club Award 2018, and was highly commended in the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Awards 2019. She earned an MA in Eastern Classics from St. John’s College and an MFA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. Her first book of poetry is forthcoming in Autumn 2021.

Advising Editor

Professor Frank Ormsby is the current Ireland Chair of Poetry. His latest collections are The Rain Barrel (Bloodaxe Books, 2019) and The Darkness of Snow (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, which was shortlisted for a National Book Circle Critics Award in the US. He has edited a number of anthologies and other books, including Northern Windows: An Anthology of Ulster Autobiography (1987), Thine in Storm and Calm: An Amanda McKittrick Ros Reader (1988), The Collected Poems of John Hewitt (1991), and The Hip Flask: Short Poems from Ireland (2001), all from Blackstaff Press, and The Blackbird’s Nest (2006), an anthology of poems from Queen’s University, Belfast. Professor Ormsby was editor of The Honest Ulsterman from 1969 to 1989, and has also edited Poetry Ireland Review. Until 2010, he was Head of English at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. In 1992 he received the Cultural Traditions Award, given in memory of John Hewitt, and in 2002, the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry.