Belfast poet Mairtín Crawford celebrated with launch of Crescent Arts Centre's award

The late Belfast poet Mairtín Crawford will be celebrated with a new award

THE Crescent Arts Centre is celebrating the life and work of Belfast poet Mairtín Crawford with the launch of the Mairtín Crawford Awards for Poetry and Short Story 2020.

Described by fellow poet Michael Longley as "a saint of poetry", Mairtín Crawford died suddenly in 2004. During his lifetime, Mairtín was co-founder and editor of the radical poetry journal, The Big Spoon, the production and arts editor of Fortnight Magazine and a prominent figure of Giros Poetry Collective. He was a creative writing tutor at The Crescent for eight years before being appointed as writer-in-residence.

Mairtín was appointed director of the Between The Lines Festival of Literature (now the Belfast Book Festival). His own writing spanned many genres including poetry, screenwriting, journalism and criticism. In 2005, Lagan Press published his Selected Poems.

The Mairtín Crawford Awards are aimed at writers working towards their first full collection of poetry, short stories, or a novel. Both published and unpublished writers from all over the world are invited to submit between three to five poems for the poetry award, and a short story of up to 2,500 words for the short story award. The only stipulations are that entrants must not yet have published a full collection of poetry, short stories or a novel and entries must be in the English language.

Sophie Hayles, CEO of The Crescent Arts Centre said: "Mairtín Crawford was a huge part of The Crescent Arts Centre family before his untimely death in 2004. Although the 10th Belfast Book Festival will not take place this year, we are delighted to still be running the Mairtín Crawford Awards as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting emerging talent."

:: For more information on the Mairtín Crawford Awards visit The deadline for submissions is midnight on Wednesday May 13.

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