This year's winners of the Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition had their winning manuscripts published in lavish form and launched during the Cork Poetry Festival. The chapbooks have been produced in a large format size (26cm by 20cm) using 14 point Centaur font, fully exploiting the charm of plenty of white space surrounding the poems. The covers are in full colour with French flaps. The publications are limited editions and sure to be coveted by collectors, as much as for their design as their content. The winners received 50 copies each (worth €400) and €500 in cash.
The chapbooks were launched at the Cork Poetry Festival to a capacity crowd. Over 60 copies were sold on the day. The poets were treated to hotel accommodation, drinks, meals and free entry into all events at the festival and were afforded introductions to editors, publishers and literary stars.
The Curative Harp is Virginia Astley's debut poetry publication. Astley is already a very successful musician, composer and recording artist having worked with many great 80s acts such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, The Skids and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Here she is on Youtube singing a duet with David Sylvian of Japan in a song produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. She has been acknowledged in many single poem competitions including the Bridport.
White Whale is the debut of Irish poet Victoria Kennefick, whose poems appearing in periodicals have been causing quite a stir. Her work has been acknowledged in competitions such as the Bridport and Gregory O'Donoghue Prize.
The competition is open again, closing date this year is May 31st. Full details here. The winning poets will have the opportunity to launch their chapbook at the 2016 Cork International Poetry Festival, receive 50 copies of their winning publication and €500 in cash. At least one of the two winning publications will be a debut publication. Why not buy and read last year's winning chapbooks, so you can not only read great new poetry, but creatively visualise how your own poems could look next year?