Awards - Haiku

The 2024 Award winners have been announced

Awards CAP 2024

The Good Relations Awards 2024 is intended to recognise the increasing level of outstanding community relations, intercultural and peacebuilding work that is taking place across all our communities in Northern Ireland.

This amazing work is having a real impact on improving people’s lives and their outlook for the future, while strengthening community spirit.

There are five Awards categories to recognise this exceptional commitment to good relations work, and to shine a light on those who go above and beyond every day.

For 2024, the Community Relations Council and The Executive Office were delighted to work in partnership with NICVA, NI Youth Forum, Volunteer Now, and The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.

Community Arts Partnership

This year’s additional Awards were created in partnership with the Community Arts Partnership (CAP). Community Art is the process of harnessing the transformative power of original artistic expression and producing a range of outcomes: artistic, social, cultural and environmental.

CAP is the lead agency for the promotion, development and delivery of community arts in Northern Ireland.

Glassmaking and Wooden Base

Working with CAP, we created the Awards for four categories, utilising recycled glass and wood.

Follow along with glassmaker Natasha Duddy’s journey to create the Good Relations Awards 2024 trophies, and the technical skills required to craft this unique Award.

You can find out more about Natasha here.

The wood used for the base of the Awards has an interesting story. The wood turner – Richard Phelan of RJP Turning – has used Irish Elm from a tree which has naturally fallen, due to storms, in the Ballylough House Estate near Bushmills, Northern Ireland. He lets the wood air dry for a period of time, to season the material, preventing cracks. He chose this particular wood due its natural grain and the fact it is a hard native wood. The wood turner then finished the wooden base with a natural polish to enhance the natural colour and marks on the wood.

Community Poets

CAP also invited emerging Community Poets to reflect on the values of Good Relations for the Good Relations Awards 2024.

The central values we invited poets to reflect upon through haiku included the overall theme of Good Relations and Together: Building a United Community (T:BUC):

  • Respect Rights Sharing Tolerance Responsibilities Cohesion Diversity Fairness
  • Inclusion Integration Interdependence.



Haiku are a type of short form poetry originally from Japan. Traditionally, a haiku has three lines with five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second line. Often set in nature, haiku focus on a brief moment in time, juxtaposing two images, and creating a sudden sense of enlightenment.

As part of the Good Relations Awards programme, we invited the authors of each haiku to read their poems.

Below you will find a transcript of the haiku poetry, as well as more information about the four featured community poets who provided a reading in the video above.

Composed by Sue Steging

Sue Steging
Sue Steging

Growing up in Liverpool, Sue studied English and American Literature at Keele University before making her way first to London and then to Northern Ireland. Now retired from a career spanning education and psychotherapy, she finds herself happily connected to a supportive and challenging group of writers – still searching for just the right word.  Her poetry and prose have been published in journals and anthologies. Having been longlisted in 2021 and 2022, she received the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing in 2023.

rain falls from bright skies

earth air water coexist

fire eats all there is


metal wounds the tree

new wood grows to cover scars

roots and branches stretch


let hard truths unite

we are not always many

they are not always few


Composed by Florence Heyhoe

Florence Heyhoe
Florence Heyhoe

Florence is a poet and textile artist living in Co. Down, by the shores of Carlingford Lough, Northern Ireland. She has been writing poetry for a decade but for the last four years, the haibun form is her focus. Her work has been anthologised and published in journals in Ireland, the United Kingdom, India, America and Canada. With a keen eye for detail her inspiration comes from the landscape, family, friends and observing life.

magnifying glass

the broken beauty of sand

each grain unique


kittens …

swiping the dog’s tail

foster mother


chill in the air

one finch feasting

among sparrows


winter storm

in an oyster shell

a cockle rests


Composed by Alison Ross

Alison Ross
Alison Ross

African by birth, Alison, like so many, has spent much of her adult life a nomad. Moving across countries and continents, she has eventually found her heart’s home in a magical place, not defined by lines on modern maps, but better known of old as Dalriada. She draws inspiration from the eclectic mix of cultures which she has been a part of and the beauty of the natural world. Poetry is one of the languages she uses to describe her response to atmosphere, shape and form. Influenced by Japanese aesthetics, particularly wabi sabi, her work is a quiet telling, simple words, pared back and reflective.

Light shines through spaces

between us, dancing skies bright

with shared dreams and stars


The moon speaks all tongues,

so none are deaf to love sung 

by the universe


Behind weary eyes, 

the hope in me greets the hope

in you, Namaste


So many shadows

drift between us, yet all are

lit by the same sun


Gently unfurling,

peace wakes from it’s winter to

fall soft as spring rain


Composed by Bronagh Mallon

Bronagh Mallon
Bronagh Mallon

Bronagh is a recently retired teacher and remains an active representative in the Irish National Teachers’ Union. She is a member of the Trade Union Friends of Palestine and advocate for peace in Palestine. She is part of INTO’s Belfast Pride team and organise Pride events. She participated in groups in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast and Coffee-House, London. She worked to promote poetry in her school through an annual Poetry Parade and participation in CAP’s Poetry In Motion Programme. Writing poetry is a lifelong pleasure and she enjoys the recent opportunity to spend more time with her writing.



Without the salt air

the shore loses atmosphere.

Flavour is missing.



You found your way here.

Obstacles you overcame

are mountains to me.



The ball rolls to him,

an invitation to join,

easy as child’s play.



The wave edge strokes sand,

rewinds slowly over years

until we are new.



Journey with me now.

I will hold your hand in mine.

We will find a place.

The 2024 Award winners have been announced