Chief Judges Report – Alison Chisholm
Opening the file of entries in a poetry competition is like unlocking a treasure chest filled with a variety of gems – each unique, ready to be handled, played with and explored, and longing to yield the essence at its heart. These poems shone with memories, philosophy, imagination, truth and exuberance. Although it’s always sad to reject poems which are uninspiring, poorly written or revised, or technically flawed, the compensation for doing so lies in the mass of good writing that remains.
Poems can speak to you, make you laugh or cry, slide under your skin and change the way you see the world. Every one of the winners and short listed pieces asserted its presence and left a message zinging in the air.
UNDER PRESSURE by Pat Borthwick. Family dynamics, personality and nostalgia bring this powerful free verse poem to life, and the apparently simple story is full of evocative layers.
BLIND FROM BIRTH by Brian Young. The reader is taken on a precarious and terrifying route through the unfamiliar, and shown the world from a new angle through a rich network of imagery.
ON THE STEP by Edyth Ward. A quirky and imaginative poem, this piece starts with a surreal premise and then explores the possibilities in logical and absurd directions, before concluding with a telling punchline.
GHOSTS by Frank McDonald
HIDDEN LOVE by Tracy Davidson
HOTSPUR for P by Sheila Wild
CODE OF THE FIREFLY by Mandy Pannet
DEEP CRYSTAL by Charles Evans
FEBRUARY HOARFROST by Dorothy Waite
LOOKING FOR SIBELIUS by Dorothy Waite
THE BALLAD OF DOT AND WILLIE by Alison Ringrose
THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE OF A POTATO by Cath Mason. An original idea with a delightful personification of the potato, culminating in the triumphant shout from a vigorous rap, this poem is feel-good and irresistible.
HIGHLY COMMENDED – HUMOUR
BULL by Keith Shaw
LOCAL PRIZE: THE FRUIT MACHINE FROM SPACE by Derek Anderton. A witty and clever narrative poem in rhyming couplets, this combines wickedly humorous content with masterly handling of form.
HIGHLY COMMENDED – LOCAL
MINUTES: EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF PROSODY TOWN COUNCIL by H Burgoyne.