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man of the year

It was the poem that took the nation by storm earlier this year.

Prose which reflected on the various elements that help to comprise and define contemporary Ireland, Stephen Smith's My Ireland tapped into the psyche of a nation and earned the Dublin poet thousands of new fans in return.

Whether it was Stephen's delivery or the sentiment contained within, My Ireland struck a chord with SHEmazing users, and it came as no surprise that you voted in your droves for Stephen to take the title of 'Man of the Year' at the inaugural SHEmazing Awards in May.

This week, the poet gave his fans and followers an insight into a particular period of his life which resulted in the creation of Iomramh and Nightsky & Butterfly – poems which Stephen wrote at the Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry in 2016.

"It can sometimes be hard to write, and there I was with a fish on the end of the hook waiting to be pulled in and I was too busy worrying about a shark on the other side of the world."

"So this is how both 'Iomramh’ and ‘Nightsky & Butterfly’ were written," Stephen explained on his Facebook page this week.

"I felt as if I was on my own journey of self-discovery when I was in Cill Rialaig, truth is I wasn’t happy then as you’ve probably gathered. I made some decisions in October 2015, to given up alcohol and become vegetarian and started to exercise a bit more."

"I was left heartbroken after a relationship ended, I was in debt, I had to find a new home, I had put on some weight and I didn’t feel good in myself and while I had just graduated from my degree that had given me structure for the past four years, I was now unemployed and lacked a purpose. I felt a bit of a failure."

In a lengthy and intimate post on Thursday, Stephen introduces the poems and the incidents which preceded them, writing: "I think that’s also where both these poems come from. That understanding that life is always in flux, I’ve had down days since, but thankfully I’ve been able to deal with them better."

"These poems are now touchstones for me to remember that." he added.

With Bolus Head as the backdrop, Stephen begins: "A man goes to the coast of an island to be alone. He has gone as far as he can for now. It's called retreat."

And we'll let the man himself take it from here…

 

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May 4 saw Ireland's biggest, brightest and best influencers take to the Mansion House in Dublin for the inaugural SHEmazing! Awards.

James Butler was up against fierce competition in the Man of the Year category, but walked away with the title on the night.

'I was shocked when I got the nomination because it's unusual not to be nominated for something social influencer related, obviously it's unusual to be nominated for anything, so it was cool to be nominated for something other than that, and I was in great company so I did not think I would win,' he said. 

 

A post shared by James Butler (@james_patrice) on

'I was thrilled (to be nominated), and then to win on the night was just fab, I think it took me a while to get up off the seat,' he exclaimed, recalling the moment he was named Man of the Year at the SHEmazing Awards ceremony. 

James has enjoyed a hugely successful career in the areas of Irish TV and social media influencing, taking up a unique space in the industry thanks to his hilarious, creative and entertaining content. 

Not just one for Snapchat, James kicked off his social media career by starting a style Instagram, posting outfits and style inspiration, before he decided to start a blog on the subject.

His blog was a hit success after much hard work, and led to opportunities with brands and TV shows like Ireland AM's blogger style-off segment and Xposé fashion reports.

 

A post shared by James Butler (@james_patrice) on

As his following built up, he started doing more TV bits for RTE, including videos for First Dates and covering the Rose of Tralee for their Facebook Live.

'It hasn't been an overnight thing, it was lots of little different things that just came together, and thankfully worked in my favour so far,' he said. 

Discussing his influencer success, he said: 'Not everyone will like everything, so the key is to keep ticking away as you are but keep an eye on what your followers like.'

 

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'A bit of a cliche, but take each day as it comes as they say, and don't ret on your laurels and become too complacent.' 

The influencer industry has a reputation for being highly competitive, thanks to the thousands of influencers and micro-influencers who all share a space in a now saturated online field.

However, James hasn't found that the social media movers and shakers he has encountered entertain that kind of attitude.  

 

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'I would say it's quite supportive and I say that because I think the reason that influencers might be where they are is because they're not like other people.'

'Those that try and copy wouldn't do as well because why would people want to work with someone that there already is a version of?'

'There isn't really the room for any bitchiness because it doesn't really get you anywhere. Just be sound, that's what I say.'

 

A post shared by James Butler (@james_patrice) on

The avid Snapchatter cites the career opportunities awarded to him with help from his following as one of the best perks of the job. 

'The best part is the opportunity that it leads to so it's led to a good bit of TV work for me, brand work, fashion work that I might not have gotten if I didn't have a following that I have, it's opened doors.'

Unfortunately, there will always be those who seek to demean and troll influencers who put their personal lives online. 

 

A post shared by James Butler (@james_patrice) on

'Because you do expose yourself to so many thousands of people, you might get some smart comments here and there, luckily I don't get too many, but you would get the odd one about your appearance or your weight.'

'But they're one in a million. You just need to forget about those, maybe be angry for 30 seconds and then be like "ah feck it they're saying it behind a keyboard they won't say it to your face."'

Hear, hear, James, hear hear! 

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Social activist, sportsman, musician or simply sound AF, we asked you ladies to choose the guy who you think has provoked change, made a positive difference or lifted the nation’s spirits over the last 12 months. 

And woah, did you reply in your droves.

Over the course of the last month, thousands of votes poured in for our Man of the Year category, and without further ado, we give you your five finalists.

James Patrice

A native of Malahide, James Patrice has made serious waves across the social media scene over the last 12 months.

After initially starting off as a fashion blogger, James found his forte in the world of Snapchat, and has been entertaining the masses on the regular ever since.

Gavin James

Between his distinctive voice, soulful sound and chart-topping hits, Gavin James is one of the biggest names in the music industry right now.

Whether it's Nervous, Bitter Pill or his version of City of Stars, this singer/ songwriter just keeps knocking it out of the park.

Stephen James Smith

A veritable wordsmith, Stephen James Smith took the nation by storm in recent months with his poem My Ireland.

Reflecting on the various elements that help to comprise and define contemporary Ireland, Stephen tapped into the psyche of a nation and earned thousands of new fans in return.

Jack Reynor

Perhaps best known for his roles in What Richard Did, Sing Street and Free Fire, Jack Reynor's film career shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Talented, charming, and down-to-earth, it's no surprise Jack Reynor made it on your list.

Philly McMahon

Our fifth finalist comes in the form of Dublin GAA player Philly McMahon.

If you think the 29-year-old sport star deserves our coveted Man of the Year accolade, be sure to vote! 

 

 

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Bono has been named the first Glamour Man of the Year.

The Irish musician will be awarded for his work on the rights and needs of women who are living in poverty around the world. The 56-year-old launched his Poverty is Sexist movement through his One Campaign.

Image result for bono poverty is sexist

Glamour's editor, Cindi Leive told Press Association: "We've talked for years about whether to honour a man at the Women of the Year and we've always kind of put the kabash on it.

“You know, men get a lot of awards and aren’t exactly hurting in the celebration and honours department.”

Image result for bono

“But it started to seem that that might be an outdated way of looking at things, and there are so many men who really are doing wonderful things for women these days. Some men get it and Bono is one of those guys.”

Bono will be presented his award as the first Man of the Year in LA on November 14.

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