Monday, 28 March 2011


The Fish Poetry Prize closes in 2 days. Brian Turner, author of Here Bullet and Phantom Noise is judging and this is an opportunity to be recognized by one of the most interesting and powerful poets of our time, and be published in the 2011 Fish Anthology. The first prize is €1,000 and the best ten poems will be published.

Brian Turner will launch the Anthology on July 6 at the West Cork Literary Festival.

Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen

Entry is online – €14, or by post – €16.

If posting, the address is:

Fish Publishing,
Co. Cork,

Make cheques payable to Fish Publishing. Do not put your name or address or any other details on the poem – use a separate sheet. Receipt of entry will be acknowleged by email. Poems will not be returned.
Maximum words for each poem is 200, and you may enter as many as you wish, provided there is an entry fee for each one. Full details and rules are here, and are listed below in brief. Entry is deemed to be acceptance of these rules.

Publishing rights of the ten winning poems are held by Fish Publishing for one year after the publication of the Anthology.

Last year the prize was won by Catherine Phil MacCarthy with Limbo.  reproduced here –


The firstborn   was handed back to them 
in a small cask   not much bigger than
a shoebox   only wooden   no more about it
they took it home by pony and trap
wasn’t the river in flood at the gate?
they had to climb down   and wade through it  
and she went alone with him
to the corner of a field   below the house
a dry shaded place   where he opened a grave
for it was April then   and the pinkish
blossoms of whitethorn were emerging
and they lifted it low together
onto sods of damp earth  
placed holy water with it
and everything she could to lay  
a holy innocent to rest
as far as  giving the boy    a name
it was Martin    the brother in Chicago
and when it came to saying good-bye
he had to draw her away    she was so
lonely   that shook him   while
he covered it with clay   for up to then
never a care   but a demon for style
high heels   you’ve never seen the like
though she gave birth again 
she was often seen    alone   in that field

Catherine Phil MacCarthy

For writers who wish to improve their skills, the Fish online course in Flash Fiction offers a ten module course over three months. It is designed to be useful and fun, and includes free entry to next year’s One-Page Prize.

The 2011 Fish Short Story Prize will open on 1 June and close 30 Sept 2011.

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry
W.B. Yeats

Poetry Contest Rules
No entry form is needed. Entry is mostly on-line, or by post if required.
You can enter as many times as you wish. One poem per entry.
The poetry contest is open to poets of any nationality writing in English.
There is no restriction on theme or style.
Poem length is restricted to 200 words.
The winning poems must be available for the anthology and, therefore, must not have been published previously.
Fish holds publishing rights for one year after publication. Copyright remains with the author.
Notification of receipt of entry will normally be by email.
The judges' verdict is final.
No correspondence will be entered into once work has been submitted.
Poems cannot be altered or changed after they have been entered. Do not put name or address with the poem, but on a separate sheet if entering by post, or in the correct place on the online entry system.
Overall winners of the Fish Poetry Prize may enter again, but will not be eligible for the first prize.
A poet who has had two poems in Fish Anthologies may not enter for three years. They may enter other Fish Prizes in that time. (This is designed to give opportunities to a wider circle of emerging poets).
Entry is taken to be acceptance of these rules.

"Therefore" is a word the poet must not know
André Gide


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