CAP’s ceo, Conor Shields congratulates Jen Herron on winning the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing 2022

On Sunday, 20th March, Conor Shields and Shelley Tracey, announced Jen Herron as the winner of the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, 2022, for her poem, “To an Unborn Daughter”

Conor Shields, ceo of CAP and Award judge said “We are delighted that Jen has won the eighth Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. It’s brilliant to see new poets with exceptional talent emerge through our programmes and all the more so that Jen also supports her pupils in developing their poetry skills too.

We offer our sincerest congratulations to Jen (twitter) and indeed to Stephen de Búrca (twitter), for his runner’s up award and we hope that these accolades will act as a springboard for both of them in their writing careers.


To an Unborn Daughter

Hide inside—
where you aren’t a topless selfie
passed around by mates
or a stolen moment
captured on a camera
hidden by a bedside.

Don’t grow—
where lithe limbs can’t be exposed
because you are only asking for it
and fear fizzes
at the bottom of a glass.

Wait here—
where you don’t park in an unlit lot,
pad the pavement in running shorts,
post a letter by a building site
or walk home—alone—at night.

Daughter, do not get in that car—
where you will wait for locked doors
and wrong turns up unknown lanes,
lie in the dark hoping—praying—begging him
to give your body back to you.

Jen Herron
Winner, Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing, 2022

‘To an Unborn Daughter’ is copyright Jen Herron 2022. twitter.com/_jenherron

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