Poetry in Motion Community project – Stephen Sexton presents the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing to Linda McKenna’s ‘Overpainted’

The Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the centre dedicated to celebrating the life and literature of the poet and Nobel Laureate, witnessed this year’s Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing presented to “Overpainted” by Linda McKenna.

Colin Hassard (Runner-Up) and Linda McKenna (Winner)

The award was made in the Helicon Performance Space; a full house gathering to hear the longlisted candidates for the award read their work, before the winner was announced. Colin Hassard’s poem “A Storm Will Come” was this year’s runner up.

Poetry in Motion

Community Arts Partnership’s Poetry in Motion Community encourages local writers, writing groups and networks to promote creative writing across the region, and it is supported by its principal funder, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

CAP is also core funded by Belfast City Council, Halifax Foundation, Santander Foundation and Enkalon Foundation.


This year’s anthology is entitled “Resonance” and contains well over 100 poets, many of whom were submitting their work to a poetry competition for the first time.

Chief Executive of Community Arts Partnership, Conor Shields said:

“This was the fourth presentation of the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing and before a packed audience in the Helicon Performance Space at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, we enjoyed a rich and varied range of poems performed by their authors, all appearing in our new anthology, “Resonance”.

 We humbly and respectfully continue to enjoy the endorsement of the Heaney Family in extending the legacy of our late-lamented Nobel Laureate and in the poem “Overpainted” by Linda McKenna, we have another worthy winner.

 Our LaVA (literature and Verbal Arts) project, supports poets and writers through masterclasses and the Heaney awards programme, offering a facilitated platform to our burgeoning local literary talent emerging year on year from right across Northern Ireland.

 We are proud to have facilitated space for new writers to be brought before the public through our programme and Linda McKenna’s poem exemplifies the sheer creativity reflected in this year’s anthology “Resonance” that we launched today.”

 Jan Carson, Poetry in Motion Project Coordinator said

 “I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Linda McKenna on winning the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018.  Her poem, “Overpainted” really impressed the judges and stood out in a year characterised by incredibly strong writing.

This year’s anthology bears testament to the wide range and high quality of work submitted by poets this year. It was a real pleasure to read the almost 400 poems submitted and to spend a fantastic day at the Seamus Heaney Homeplace celebrating the achievements of all our wonderful poets.”

The shortlisted with the winner and runner up for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2018.

artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.