Winners 2011

To read the winning entries from our fifth competition just click on the links below and scroll down to view judges’ comments.

The 2011 Competition

1st Prize – Horseshoe Bat by David J Costello

2nd Prize – The Carpenters Daughter by Kathy Miles

3rd Prize – Nights spy glass by Moira Andrew

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Winner: David J Costello


Specially Commended:

4th  Stitches by Fatima Al Matar

5th  Ah, you should see the mighty Deere by Mary Ryan

6th  In Bloom by Tom Gatehouse

7th  Perce Blackborow by Glyn Edwards

8th  Lightwells by Alana Kelsall

9th  Kasaks of Mongolia by Mary Irvine

10th Belted Gaberdines by Joy Winkler

11th Aim by Louise Wilford

12th Seal Clubbing by Glyn Edwards

13th Girl on the Underground by Alisa Lockwood

14th Bridgend by Mark Lock

15th Silas Jones by Anthony Fisher

16th Ode to Joy by Emily Hinshelwood

17th Beacon and Elks by Sheila Barksdale

18th Mackworth Street by Jenny Powell

19th The Painter’s Holiday by Jenny Powell

20th Don’t call your father a bastard by Ceri Rees

Results were announced on our web site, Facebook Group and Twitter on Friday 15th July, 2011. We have also informed Literature Wales, Pontypridd Observer and associated district newspapers, SW Echo, the Western Mail, BBC Wales and RCTCBC as well as many organisations on our mailing list. Thanks to Sally Spedding for judging this years competition, and thanks also to all those who entered and look forward to reading your work next year.


Judges’ comment:

Horseshoe Bat, by David J Costello

‘It must have been a keen blade That eased you from night’s heart…’

The exquisite precision of these opening lines perfectly conveys an almost surgical procedure, and while the poem’s economy extends into a more mellow, introspective tone, I remained skewered to this small mammal’s journey where there is no excess baggage, no self-indulgent clutter. I hadn’t heard of the Horseshoe bat, so I learnt something too. This is a magical and memorable work. A worthy winner.

The Carpenter’s Daughter (Mary Anning), by Kathy Miles

‘How could she resist? The way the cliff parted its lips…’

The intriguing question at the start of this poem and the almost erotic image that follows, drew me deep into Mary Anning’s obsessive world as she gathers fossils for a living. Each word, each assonance and phrase contrasts the dead world of ‘those silent creatures sleeping in their unforgiving cradles’ with that of a determined young girl born in 1799, who wonders if one day her own ‘naked, indelicate bones’ will too, become the same. The present-day ending reinforces the earlier sense of time past. Marvellous.

Night’s spy-glass, by Moira Andrew

‘On the edge of silence, night does her own thing…’

In this remarkable and disturbing poem, the all-seeing night, which, without much thought on our part, accompanies most of us to bed, is given a growing malevolence, playing on one of our worst fears – will we still be alive in the morning? Here, she ‘sits back and screws a spy-glass into every star. She sticks a pin into each tender part… watching every move…’ I now check her out, unable to shake the following last two lines from my mind, where the best we can do is ‘simply to stroke the other’s skin and live until morning.’

Sally Spedding, July 2011


See also our links page for details of poetry web sites in Wales and beyond.




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