The Living Poets' Society

The Power of Words Festival Team is very pleased to announce that the recipient of our 2021 ‘Living Poets Society Award’ is the wonderful Galway poet


RITA ANN was born in 1955 in Galway, where she still lives. One of 13 children, she left school at 14, and was in her late 20s when she started writing poetry. She has since published 13 books of poetry, 8 plays and 2 screenplays.

She married in 1973 but following the birth of her second child in 1977, contracted tuberculosis, forcing her to spend an extended period in a sanatorium.

While confined, she began reading, and took to composing poems. She joined the Galway Writers' Workshop in 1982. Jessie Lendennie, founder and Managing Editor of Salmon Publishing, encouraged Higgins and oversaw the publication of her first five collections.

Higgins is the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries and was Galway County's Writer-in-Residence in 1987, Writer in Residence at the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 1994–95, Writer in Residence for Offaly County Council in 1998–99. She was Green Honors Professor at Texas Christian University, in October 2000. Other awards include a Peadar O'Donnell Award in 1989, several Arts Council bursaries 'Sunny Side Plucked' was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She was made an honorary fellow at Hong Kong Baptist University November 2006. She also participated in prison workshops in Ireland and UK, and did voluntary work at promoting positive mental health.

Please come and join us as we present Rita Ann with the ‘Living Poets’ Society’ Award and celebrate her poetry in the Community Garden, Abbeyleix at 1.30 p.m. on Sunday, 22nd August 2021, in an event facilitated by author Siobhan Hoy.

Music by Erin and Colleen Lalor.

Tickets are FREE but strictly limited.