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Friday, August 11, 2023

Hold Fast to Dreams Poetry Competition

To celebrate the 3rd year anniversary of Drawn to the Light Press this October, Hold Fast to Dreams Poetry Competition is announced. Langston Hughes wrote

Hold fast to dreams 
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

What dreams do you have? What do you aspire to? What colour are your dreams? Do you vividly recall a dream? Do you daydream? What is it you secretly wish you could have done? What do you intend to do? Will you act? What is your passion?

The competition will be judged by editor Orla Fay. A top ten poems will be included in issue 10 and the winning poet will receive a cash prize. The competition closes on Friday, September 1st at midnight.

There is an entry fee of €5 per poem and poets may submit as many poems as they wish.

Poems should be 40 lines or less and written on the theme of ‘Dreams’. Please attach the poem separately.

Poems will be judged anonymously and should not include the poet’s name on the poem itself. A cover letter should include the poet’s name, email address and title of entry.

Enter here

Monday, July 24, 2023

Summer Poem by Mary Oliver

Water Lilies on The Royal Canal Greenway Co. Meath

Summer Poem

Leaving the house,
I went out to see

the frog, for example,
in her shining green skin;

and her eggs
like a slippery veil;

and her eyes
with their golden rims;

and the pond
with its risen lilies;

and its warmed shores
dotted with pink flowers;

and the long, windless afternoon;
and the white heron

like a dropped cloud,
taking one slow step

then standing awhile then taking
another, writing

her own soft-footed poem
through the still waters.

Mary Oliver

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Issue 9 Drawn to the Light Press

Issue 9 is now online and it can be read here 

If you wish to order a print version, you can do so via PayPal on the website

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Drawn to the Light Press Issue 9 Seeking Submissions

Aurora  Deirdre McKernan

Submissions for issue 9 of Drawn to the Light Press, June 2023 are now invited. The window will close on Friday, 12th May at midnight.

Send up to 3 poems of 40 lines or less, using Times New Roman Font 12, single spacing. Poems should be previously unpublished. There is no set theme for the issue.

Submissions of artwork and photography are welcome.

Those submitting must be over 18 years of age.

Send all work to

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

A Spring Night (in March)


Sandro Botticelli, La Primavera, c.1482

A Spring Night (in March)

What it is to be alive,

to know this twinkling ice of stars,

to know the burn of untouched scars,


to riot with the daffodil

when the light is terrible,

and terrible before the dark


the perfect time of shudder-earth,

the birth of all there is to care

in the vixen’s stolen glare,


the rolling on of hours

when her warmth offers

flowering fruit,


and winter is, at last, consumed?


Orla Fay

Monday, January 2, 2023

Little Fires of Brigid Poetry Competition

St. Brigid’s Cross

To honour St. Brigid’s Day and the inaugural Bank Holiday in Ireland celebrating Lá Fhéile Bríde, Drawn to the Light Press is pleased to announce a poetry competition. The competition opens on Sunday, 04th December and closes on Sunday, 08th January.

Send poems to using the subject line Little Fires of Brigid Poetry Competition 2023. Poems should be 40 lines or less and previously unpublished. Poems should be on the theme of Brigid, Spring, Fire and Renewal. 

Poem are judged anonymously and the poet’s name must not appear on the poems themselves. Details should be included on a separate page. 

The overall guest judge is Siobhán Mc Laughlin, a poet and creative writing facilitator from Co. Donegal, Ireland. Her poems have appeared in Drawn to the Light Press, The Honest Ulsterman, The Waxed Lemon, Bealtaine magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, The Poetry Village and recently made the longlist for the Bangor Poetry Competition in September 2022.  She has a MA in Creative Writing and works as a creative writing facilitator for adults, both online and in person, hosting writing classes and a series of writing for wellbeing workshops. She has previous editorial credits on the international literary magazine, Beyond Words and curates a collection of seasonal poetry on her blog

The winning poet will receive €200 and be published in Issue 8 of Drawn to the Light Press. A runner-up will also have their poem published in the February Issue. 

There is an entry fee of €5 for a single poem entry. Poets may submit as many poems as they wish. Please include your PayPal reference number in your entry email. Those who wish to enter by post may do so by contacting the email address above. 

Winners will be announced on Monday, 6th February 2023. 

Enter here

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

A Poem for Thanksgiving


Freedom from Want Norman Rockwell

Since it's Thanksgiving on Thursday, I've edited an older poem to share. I know that in the world there are too many who are not free from want. 

Thanksgiving Invictus


-          after Wilde & Henley


Struggling for grace in morning’s prison

he wipes sleep from eyes, stretches

yet-darkness before lighting a candle.


Enthralled by beauty, the warbling flame,

dancing shadows cast, he hums an old, familiar tune,

remembers a friend he loved, heard joy,


sonorous bass in lifeblood,

drumming heart. This same ritual,

performed for centuries. The pilgrim, home.


Day stirring, frees herself, maiden

white with mist, gowned for occasion,

her grey veil gradually lifts, and there is bonniness


in simple tasks while robins chirp reminders:

make coffee, make toast, mix the Christmas cake,

how good it is to breathe, taste, see.


There is no gallow anon, no plank to walk.

This is no Ballad of Reading Gaol.

Stronger than any epoch is the resolve


that spring will return, jungle of cornucopia.

Snowdrops, previewed through dew,

in New Year’s baptism, rise renewed.


Orla Fay


Ed. 22/11/22