Damen O’Brien Wins Welsh Poetry Competition!

The International Welsh Poetry Competition 2019 organisers have announced the winners of the 13th contest, judged by acclaimed Welsh poet and writer Mike Jenkins, and the overall winner was Damen O’Brien for his poem The Map-Maker’s Tale.

The winners were as follows:

1st Prize          THE MAP-MAKERS TALE – Damen O’Brien, Queensland, Australia

2nd Prize         THE DEVIL’S SHOES – Pauline Plummer, North Shields, England

3rd Prize          WHAT ARE YOU OWL – Rob Miles, Leeds, England

Mike also choose another seventeen poems for the ‘Highly commended’ section with another thirty-two poems also given a ‘special mention’, such was the quality of entries this year.  As always winners came from all over the world.  All winning poems and judges’ comments can be viewed on the competition web site – www.welshpoetry.co.uk

Judge Mike Jenkins said: “This year’s International Welsh Poetry Competition has once again produced some excellent poems, showing daring, vision and captivating imagery. The joy of judging a poetry competition is finding a poem which takes a totally different direction and approach to all the others and the winner’s exactly that. Not only is its narrative descriptively intense, but it creates in such a short space, a world you inhabit, albeit a frightening, dystopian one. Curiously, the imagery of maps was used effectively by three very good poets in this competition; but this one handles a grave topic with subtle imagination.

Competition organiser Dave Lewis said: “It always amazes me just how good many of the poems we get are. There is so much writing talent out there that it really does need to be celebrated more than it is. If our contest, the biggest in Wales, can achieve anything I hope that it can show the world that we take this art form seriously and do our best, each year, to try to promote as many great writers as possible.

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