We are pleased to announce our 2020 winner is Alana Daly Mulligan. Alana was in very good company with some highly commended runners up. We look forward to her performance at the tribute night in August.
Alana is the co-founder of Europe’s first poetry festival organised by young people for young people (ages 13-19); The Lit Young Writers’ Festival (2017-present). Alana was selected to represent Ireland at the Three Dot Dash Summit in New York with the We Are Family Foundation (chaired by Nile Rodgers of Chic) as result. Alana is the co-founder of Modwords Cork: open mic for young artists. (2018-2019). Her short film My Great Aunt Chrissie won the Best Writing Award at Noiseflicks Film Festival (2017). Alana's second short film 'Hands' discussed homophobia in post Marriage Equality Ireland. It was well received, viewed over 20K times online and was shown at a number of festivals, conferences and has been included on a University Syllabus (2018). Alana's third short film 'The Beach Woman; was shortlisted at IndieCork Film Festival (2019). Alana was commissioned to write for the USI and within University College Cork. Publications include; Autonomy (2018), Solstice Sounds Volume VI (2018), The Quarryman V (2019), University Express, Motley Magazine, and BND Magazine. Alana has also been included on a Spoken Word map of Ireland and the UK (2018). She has performed internationally at events like All Together Now, The First Fortnight Festival, Cúirt International Poetry Festival, Cork LGBT+ Pride Festival, The Belfast Poetry Festival, ME, USA, Three-Dot-Dash-Summit, NY, and has acted as support to Stephen James Smith, Neil Hilborn and Shane Koyczan.
Beauty or something like that
They tell you it is there but often is not found by the eyes.
It clots and turns in the throat when hope is lost in reflection.
Because you can’t see it, you don’t believe in it.
And you, you are a cleft lung in some struggle with the air.
With the air, you feel both alive and dying.
And you might be trying but
It is still so hard to fill yourself with other people when you don’t feel like a person yourself.
Yourself. – – – – A person.
Is it the skin or the mind? – – – The voice or the hands?
Is it the lung –– The cleft lung?
You struggle to get the words out. Word’s out you have none.
You are reminded of your cleft lung,
Your tongue –– short with beach glass.
You pass yourself. You don’t know how to ask who or how that person is.
Nor do you want to.
Until they stop you; you stop you. You see yourself. Go to speak with your crystal-cut tongue.But you can’t.
So you do all that is left for you to do: let the ocean in your chest out of your eyes.
Release yourself of salt water. Taste it in your empty mouth. Feel it on your unsure body.
Look at the reflection of yourself in all water felled on your cheeks.
Stop the urge to speak. You can’t right now. Take a breath. Breathe. Breathe.
Listen to the sea. Let her fill your ears. While she might drown you, she feels this too.
She feels you. Alive when you shouldn’t be. Silent when you could be loud.
Don’t be. Just know that in this floating ––floating, you are an ocean. And all good things,
All good things, will come back to you. Come back to you.
And in that, you are beautiful. A beautiful, imperfect reoccurrence once in a lifetime.