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Kildare > Arts > Cecil Day Lewis Short Story and Poetry Competition

Cecil Day Lewis Short Story and Poetry Competition

Entries are invited for the annual Cecil Day Lewis Competition Short Story and Poetry competition. The competition, organised by Kildare Library and Arts Service and sponsored by Athy Town Council, celebrates the connection between the celebrated poet and the South Kildare area. C.D. Lewis was Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1951 - 1956. A talented and humorous man, he wrote in An Italian Visit, parodies on poets ranging from Hardy to Dylan Thomas. His autobiography was published in 1960 and in 1966, he was awarded Poet Laureate.

Profile of Cecil Day-Lewis

Cecil Day-Lewis, born in 1904 was the son of a Church of Ireland minister, then living in Ballinturbbert House, Athy, Co. Kildare. He was educated in Sherborne School and then Wadham College, Oxford.

He was a schoolmaster until 1935 and during that time his restless intellect led him to writing detective fiction. He wrote under the pen name Nicholas Blake, introducing the detective Nigel Strangeways in A Question of Proof, which was followed by twenty popular and successful stories.

Given the political and social turmoil of the between the wars years, like many intellectuals of his day, he leaned more and more towards Marxism, joining the Communist party in 1936. He edited the Socialist Symposium The Mind in Chains, which took place in 1937.

His frequent broadcasts were a joy to him and he enjoyed giving recitals and lectures in schools and colleges. He sat on committees, judged awards and his enthusiasm embraced children's stories for radio and he wrote a number of children's' books including the popular Poetry for You.

His pride in accomplishment and his craft in the writing of poetry and prose make him an excellent example for aspiring writers and we are proud that Athy Town Council established these awards for poetry, short story and the one-act play. It is good to know that his talents survive in his sons Sean and Daniel and his daughter Tamasin, who spend considerable time in Ireland.

Cecil Day Lewis Short Story and Poetry Competition Categories

Junior Primary aged 7 and under
Senior Primary aged 12 and under attending primary school
Post Primary pupils attending post primary school
Adult/ Third Level students
Please write on one side of paper only
The author must sign each script
Entry fee for Adults and 3rd Level students € 1
Entry fee for Primary and Secondary school pupils 50c
No entry can be accepted without a fee
Scripts will be returned to author on receipt of a stamped addressed envelope
Kildare County Council reserves the right to reproduce scripts from the winning entries.

Childrens Application Form - Word Document
Adult Application Form - Word Document

For further information, contact Catríona Fallon on (045) 448314, or e-mail us on

Tickets can be booked in person at the Riverbank, by calling (045) 448333, or by e-mail at


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