The Belfast Book Festival is privileged to announce the inaugural Belfast Book Festival Mairtín Crawford Award.
The Award is aimed at poets working towards their first full collection. Both published and unpublished poets are invited to submit between 6 and 10 poems, with the only stipulation being that they have not yet published a full collection. The winner of the award will receive a six-month mentorship. The winner will also be invited to read live at a designated slot during the Belfast Book Festival 2017.
The winning poet’s mentor will support the winner with editorial advice, endeavour to help them achieve significant breakthroughs both creatively and professionally, and overcome many of the wide ranging challenges a working poet routinely faces. They will help the poet grow artistically, and develop professionally.
Poets, who wish to submit, must pay an entry fee of £5. The closing date for submissions is midnight of Friday 19th May. A full list of terms and conditions and how to enter can be found below.
Mairtín Crawford was born in Belfast in 1967 and educated at Rathmore Grammar School and Queen’s University Belfast where he earned a bachelor of arts in English and Scholastic Philosophy and an MA in Irish Writing.
In the 1990’s he co-founded and edited The Big Spoon Literary magazine and was production and arts editor of Fortnight Magazine. He was a prominent figure of Giro’s Poetry Collective and, whilst based at the Crescent Arts Centre, now home of the Belfast Book Festival, he taught creative writing and was later appointed the Director of Between The Lines arts festival where, having befriended the great poet Allen Ginsberg, he succeeded in bringing the legendary Beat poet to the Crescent Arts Centre for two absorbing readings in 1993.
Mairtín died suddenly in 2004.