Winners 2007

The 2007 winners from our first ever competition are below. Scroll down to view judges’ comments. To read the winning poems check out our anthologies page.

The 2007 Competition

1st Prize – Concrete by Gavin Price*

2nd Prize – My Body is Old Porridge by Eloise Williams

3rd Prize – space by Amanda Weeks

*Disclaimer: It should be mentioned that some of the content of 2007’s winning poem may offend some readers.

Winners, 2007 - the inaugural competition

Photograph by Andrew Davies

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Specially Commended:

4th  Her hairs not short by Gavin Price

5th  Sunday afternoon on Barry Island by Nigel Humphreys

6th  Solar Plexus by Jane Fox

7th  Flights of Fancy by Richard Garman

8th  In 1968… by John Gallas

9th  Balancing Mixed Vegetables On A Motorway Bridge by Clive Gilson

10th Fragments of Cardiff by Kate Scarratt

11th On Eric Gill – typophile etc. by Emily Hinshelwood

12th To by Kate Noakes

13th Urban Tales by Phil Knight

14th Swansea Bay Promenade by Isobel Norris

15th Bags by Roger Barnett

16th What I am by Carrie-Ann Fry

17th Inside Out by Anthony Keating

18th Connecting by Leah Armstead

19th Extinction by Cerys Jones

20th The Size Zero Debate by Emma Catherine Sullivan

Special mention:

Bus Ride by Josiah Rowlands (aged 6)

A prize giving evening was held in the main library in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales on Wednesday 15th August, 2007.

Top 3 winners, 2007

Photograph by Andrew Davies

The winning poems were published in the Welsh Academi’s Literary Magazine A470 as well as on their website. We have also informed the local and national press.

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Judges’ comment:

Concrete, by Gavin Price

An excellent poem. Filled with the sound, rhythms, and musical qualities of language. Alliteration, and assonance, pushing each line along relentlessly. The mind is drawn onwards, and onwards, towards meaning, towards an end; each point picked up and qualified by a clause or phrase, then thrown down to be picked up again later; the language creating a speed and urgency, as we move at times beyond meaning, and a refusal to let this jaggedness slow us down. There is no gap between his words and the world. Poetic utterance at it’s very best, and a very worthy competition winner. From doodlebugs, to ebay, to Buddha…”War makes beasts of us all”. Poetry will only survive as a relevant art form if voices like Gavin Price are heard more often.

John Evans with Gavin Price

Photograph by Andrew Davies

My Body Is Old Porridge, by Eloise Williams

Another excellent poem, finely observed and executed. A female voice speaks with candour about the changes and bodily experiences of the aging process. Making use of the subtle effects of sound, which contrast wonderfully with the matter of fact, frankness, and sometimes harsh way the poet addresses the reader, and herself. “On honest reflection in the mirror”. Yet there is humour in this self-portrait, “Arse. A moon with craters. Men don’t want to land”, and all the complexities of emotion are addressed, “Of the inside out. Rockets. Shooting, steaming, simmering, exploding”. This poem by Eloise Williams would win many competitions. Poem as creative art. Another poet whose voice needs to be heard.

space, by Amanda Weeks

Again, an excellent example of how poetry should be written in the twenty-first century. There is no pretension, both language and subject matter speak directly to the reader. The speaker faces the pain of miscarriage, “He left a space. Never knew he was a “he” until the post mortem. The little life. I never saw his face.” Loss. Mourning. Pain. Self-doubt. Difficult subjects. Nothing is dodged or ducked. Are all tackled head on. “He left despair. A freak with bad insides. A child I could not bare.” The use of rhythm and the subtleties of rhyme are expertly crafted. Amanda Weeks is another poet who has a finely tuned ear for the aural patterning of language. Honest, open, and deeply moving, a poem which thoroughly deserves it’s place among the competition winners. More please.

John Evans, August, 2007

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

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