Sonya Gildea is an English language poet and a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction/interdisciplinary prose based in Dublin, Ireland.


Selected Awards & Achievements: 

  • Selected for Poetry Ireland Introductions (2021), by poet Seán Hewitt.
  • Winner of the John McGahern Literature Award (2021).
  • Recipient of an Irish Arts Council Artist Literature Bursary Award (2021).
  • Winner of a (post-grad) Ireland Chair of Poetry Student Award (2020-2021).
  • Winner of The Cúirt International New Writer’s Award in Fiction (2015).
  • Poetry Winner of June 2022 New Irish Writing, The Irish Independent.
  • Top Ten Long Listed and published by Galley Beggar Press Short Story Prize (2023) selected by judges Meena Kandasamy, Jon McGregor & Jarred McGinnis and GBP Editors, Eloise Millar & Sam Jordison.
  • Shortlisted for the Mairtín Crawford Award in Poetry (2022).
  • National Mentorship Award (2023) by the Irish Writer’s Centre NMP, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts office & The Irish Arts Council.
  • Awarded a Cill Rialaig Writer’s Residency (2022) by the Irish Writer’s Centre & the Irish Arts Council.
  • Recipient of a Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office & Creative Ireland Artist Literature Bursary Award (2021).
  • Recipient of a Writer’s Residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (2021).
  • Recipient of an Irish Arts Council Agility Award (2021).
  • Selected for the Seamus Heaney Centre’s annual residential Summer Poetry School (2022), Queens University Belfast.



Sonya is writing The Switching Yard, a short story collection.

She is writing a first poetry collection, 500 Seconds and has written the chapbook The Nine River Beats of Owenea in collaboration with Irish visual artist, Sorca O’Farrell, and set in Glenties, Co. Donegal.  




  • Sonya graduated with an MA (1st) in Creative Writing from University College Dublin (2020).
  • Sonya has completed Poetry Ireland Introductions programme under the mentorship of poets, Seán Hewitt, Annemarie Ní Churreáin and Jessica Traynor (2021).
  • Sonya completed the Seamus Heaney Centre’s residential Annual Summer Poetry School, Queens University Belfast (2022).
  • Sonya was awarded an IWC NMP mentorship 2022 – 2023.
  • Sonya was awarded a place by Maynooth University Department of English and Kildare Arts Office, on the programme of creative workshops Experimental Publishing & Place by Writer-in-Residence, Nathan O’Donnell, producing the collective, co-authored experimental work Unfinished Topographies (2021).
  • Sonya completed the Irish Writer’s Centre courses:
    • Autofiction with author, Joanna Walsh (2021)
    • This Modern Life with poet, Rachel Long (2022)
    • New Work Now, with poet, Rachel Long (2023)
  • Sonya has completed a University College Dublin foundation course in Human Rights


  • Sonya holds professional membership with the Irish Writer’s Centre.
  • She is a member of the professional writer’s cooperative forum WORD


what a day for a daydream….

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Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Arts Office