Poems for Patience exhibition. Image credit: David Ruffles

Poems for Patience exhibition. Image credit: David Ruffles

Saolta Arts is seeking entries for its annual poetry competition. The competition is run in conjunction with the Poems for Patience series as part of Cúirt International Festival of Literature (running 4 -10 April 2022). The winning poem will be published and displayed on the Arts Corridor of University Hospital Galway and the winner will be invited to read the poem at the Poems for Patience launch during Cúirt Festival.

Poems for Patience is a long running series which over the past eighteen 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 then displayed in waiting areas throughout Galway University Hospitals and in 2022 will also be distributed to our public hospitals in Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Roscommon, Sligo and Letterkenny.

The winner will also be:

  • 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,
  • invited to submit six poems for consideration to be a Featured Reader at the Over The Edge: Open Reading series in Galway City Library.

‘The poetry competition is an opportunity in these times of uncertainty for poets to gift the hospital community with uplifting poetry to take us away even fleetingly from the troubling reality around us and can offer us some comfort and food for the soul.’ – Margaret Flannery, Saolta Arts Director


  • 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 should be made by cheque or postal order payable to Saolta Arts. Alternatively, you can pay via the Saolta Arts online shop.

Entries* should be sent by post (or via email once confirmed with arts office) to Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Saolta Arts, c/o University Hospital Galway, Newcastle Road, Galway / saoltaarts@hse.ie.

NOTE: Do not put your name on the poems; please include your contact details on a separate sheet. This is to keep all poets anonymous during the judging process.

Please include your contact details – name, address, email address telephone and title of poem(s). Ensure these details are on a separate page and poems are titled. If you are emailing your entry, use the same process as above and send poem(s) as attachments.

Closing Date
Friday 18 February 2022

The winner will be announced on 15 March. The competition judge is poet Kevin Higgins, who is co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway.

For any queries contact Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Saolta Arts. Email: saoltaarts@hse.ie or phone 087 1478394.



Sign up to our e-bulletin to keep up to date with the latest news and opportunities.