Awards - Haiku

The 2024 Award winners have been announced

Awards CAP

The Good Relations Awards 2023 built on the previous successes of the Community Relations Council Good Relations Awards. The Award categories were extended to fully recognise the increasing level of outstanding community relations, intercultural and peacebuilding work that is taking place across all our communities.

This work is having a real impact, improving people’s lives and their outlook for the future, while also strengthening the community spirit in the places and spaces where we live, work, and play.

The Awards highlight the vital role of good relations in peace building and community cohesion, recognising the individuals who unite and champion our local communities, and the projects that connect us and drive our communities forward in peace, understanding and cultural respect.

The Awards categories were designed to recognise the exceptional commitment to good relations work, while also providing opportunities for those who go above and beyond every day, to step forward and shine.

For 2023 we were delighted to be able to expanded the Awards programme and continued into 2024; working together with partners in NICVA, NI Youth Forum, Volunteer Now and The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland we have five Awards categories.

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. Working with CAP, we created the awards for the four 2023 and 2024 Good Relations Awards categories, the sustainable awards are made from recycled glass and wood.

CAP also invited local writers to reflect on the values of Good Relations for the Good Relations Awards.

The central values we invited writers 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, two videos were created in partnership with CAP. The first provides the story behind the development and making of the 2023 awards, and the second, covers the development of the Haiku and poets who developed these.


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 Anita Gracey

Anita Gracey
Anita Gracey

Anita Gracey has been published in Poetry Ireland Review, Washing Windows – Irish Women Write Poetry (Ed. Eavan Boland), Abridged, The Honest Ulsterman, Poetry NI, The Poets’ Republic, Fly on the Wall, The Blue Nib, Culture Matters, CAP Anthology, Bangor Literary Review, Corsham, Sonder, Utopia Project, Dream Well Writing, Corncrake Magazine, Woman’s Aid Anthology, Smashing Times, Linen Hall Library, Waterways Story-making Festival, Pendemic, Monaghan County Museum, The Wing and Washing Windows Too – Irish Women Write Poetry (Ed Nuala O’Conner & Alan Hayes). Her work has featured in The Poetry Jukebox, a tattoo and a honourable mention in Chultúrlann Poetry Competition 2022.

Rights flow like a stream

politicians steer the boat

to a sea of change.


Guidelines are freckles

always to be counted on

sunbeams in dark days.


Jumping from the fence

inclusion for everyone

take to the dancefloor.


Tolerance isn’t

arms holding at a distance

but around your waist.


In Winters cover

we ask when will garden grow

laughing Spring sun winks.


Swell of heavy clouds

meet impatient parched dirt paths

applaud thirsty lives.


Women on the hill

shouting up diversity

Pankhurst would be proud.


Voting in summer

optimism on the breeze

heralds cohesion.

Composed by Patrick James McCurdie

James McCurdie
James McCurdie

Patrick McCurdie is a writer and poet from County Armagh. His writing is influenced by rural and urban environments, people and places and the interconnectedness of the material and spiritual worlds. With an interest in psychology and spiritual matters, his work draws on themes of consciousness as a vehicle to convey and understand human nature. Paddy has attended several writing and poetry workshops locally in the past several years and is currently writing a collection of poems and a novel. He has a love of Haiku and its power of bringing the inanimate to life.


Can you see me now?

I’m here, in front of you, look.

You only need to look.



Don’t walk over me.

This street is for both of us,

Not just your shiny shoes.



My pocket is dry.

But if I had cold water,

I would quench your thirst.



You bang your drum hard.

My ears are sore and heavy

Sitting quiet and still.



Do not stand frozen.

March strong on melting dark snow,

To the growing grass



Knife through hard butter

Slowly slides forward and back

To a yellow cube.



Pupils glaze sideways

Past rushing streams of people.

Their eyes – blue, brown, green.



Rushing on gravel.

A flash of pain in the back.

A helping hand up.



Look at that guy there,

Staring at the setting sun.

Hello, please come over!



Water hurtling down

Blending hard in deep blue sea,

Fresh and salt water.



Whipping waves whip round

Giant slabs of trees and plants,

While we watch and wave.


“Changing for the better, together”

You’ve grown, long and tall.

Crusted layers dropping off,

Mixing and Sweeping.

Composed by Marion Clarke

Marion Clarke
Marion Clarke

Marion Clarke, nominated Financial Times “Haiku Poet in the City”, has been writing short form poetry since 2011. Inspired by the landscape surrounding her hometown of Warrenpoint, she combines poetry and visual art to create haiga and photo haiku. The Japanese programme NHK Haiku Masters has showcased her work, awarding her ‘Master of the Month’. Last year, she received the Grand Prize in Setouchi Matsuyama‘s Photo Haiku Competition. Her poetry features in the first two collections of haiku from Ireland and is regularly published in international journals. Marion enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge through poetry facilitation in schools.

ravens and doves

we celebrate

our differences


incoming storm . . .

a circle of redwoods

their roots intertwined


multicultural calendar…

more holidays

to celebrate


office kitchen

plastic fridge magnets

of Jesus and Buddha

Composed by Helena Stuart

Helena Stuart
Helena Stuart

Helena Stuart grew up in Collegeland, Co. Armagh. She has started writing poetry again, a love that began in childhood. Helena has recently retired, having worked for over 30 years as a Child Psychotherapist and in a trauma centre. This work has given her an intimate view of human nature in all its light and shade, instilling in her a great respect for the strength of the human spirit to overcome some of the harshest challenges that life can present. This looking below the surface to find the heart and soul of things shapes much of her writing.

The spaces between

Define the shape of us

The wind blows through anyway.


When we make our marks

The birds sing songs of release

We too take flight.


We endlessly close circles

That were never really open

The flower turns to the sun.


Together in the storm

We stand as one

The wind blows around us


I bow to the other

Of my earthly tribe

The moons sees us both.


Stepping back

Stepping forward

We weave a basket of oneness

Further Information

You can view a downloadable pdf version of this page: 

GRW Awards CAP 2023

The 2024 Award winners have been announced