The winning entries from our fifth competition are below. Scroll down to view judges’ comments. To read the winning poems check out our anthologies page.
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
Winner: David J Costello
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.
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.