We’re delighted to announce that our judges have read the shortlist of poems (and what a wonderful collection of poems they were) and have made their final decisions. The winner of our junior competition was Lucy Thynne with her ‘Ode to interrailing through Europe’ and the winner of our senior competition was Pippa Little with her poem ‘Eurascope’. Congratulations to our two winners, the worthy runners-up and all the honourable mentions. Even if your poem wasn’t shortlisted – thank you very much for taking part.
Each poem was read through several times and it took a number of committee meetings to agree the final short lists to forward to our two judges.
Junior competition (16 – 25)
Lucy Thynne, Ode to Interrailing through Europe
Cities you know only in July. The forest thickens as the sun thins, and we fold the peeled skin from your back into an origami church, make paper museums we forget to travel to. Early morning again and you hold every town between your teeth for safe-keeping: speak in swallowed tickets of metro tongues, in handfuls of cherry stones, in the rush of blood to ears you confuse for the sea. Balcony dusk, a moon-lipped song. The woman singing below us to the same pulse of the market - that age old exchange, the palm to coin to fruit, copied into the air. How to remember this? The beach spread before us like an easel, and the water, cupped in your hands like stained glass: held as if in prayer, that ring the stars in blue.
Natalie Pierce, Globes
Amy Wostenholme, Words
Lucy Lapchani, Hitching
Florine Lips, Mountain Peaks
Catharine O’Donaghue, April is the cruellest month
Amy Wostenholme, hireath
Open Competition (26+)
Pippa Little, Eurascope
I hold you up to the light so your colours tumble, catch fire, supple and luminous: you remind me of falling in love in the lake' lanterns strung from trees (speckled golds, saffron, reeds tobacco-brown), the night we slept in a forest, cocooned in a single sleeping bag (owl silver, stern evergreen) or older, on trains graffiti-slashed, not quite visitors or guests, nor yet inhabitants, owl vowels a-swirl (cherry black or palinka's opalescence, coffee grounds, goldenrod.) Here, meetings and partings with all my beloveds, my dead, bone of my bone, all fly up and form, effortlessly into a pure and perfect dance (cinnabar glow and cobalt shadows) the day I lay next to my sister in the deep hamman of Madrid. And long before me my elders crossed intricate borders, pushed a thumb into bullet holes along apartment walls (field drab, bisque, according to their shadow) whose symmetries whirled and rushed around them sharp-edged, indecipherable: I hold you up to the light, question formed from a lost question. Either you are small, distant as a pour of stars, gigantic, a close up of pores, pelt, or perhaps you are only a far-away thunderstorm (ochre, umber) where fine rain is falling, somewhere I might have been born, before the lightning.
Cato Pedder, Postcards from Europe
Barry Tempest, In Transit
Amma Bolton, Caffe Nero, Easter 2019
Christal Sujeong Bratley, Ode to Europe
Linda Burnett – Frozen Food Aisle
Natalie Camlin – Brexit Bound
Elizabeth Carew – The Young Europeans
Carol Clark – The Pied Piper
Jeanette Davies – Brexit Bus Stop
Fay Dickinson – Care, Nations
Marc Fiddes – Mummy, what did you do in the Great Peace?
Amit Gabbi – Kingdom Come
Adam Horovitz – Returning to Frankfurt
Roger Iredale – Villanelle for Europe
Roger Iredale – War Mantras
Connie Jenkins Teague – Compromise
Simon Kersdale – Elitism
Sue Kindon – Farewell to Europa
Flora Claire Page – The Ballad of Independence Day
Ellie Rose – City of Bridges
John Smillie – Vive la Difference
John Smillie – Someone’s Built a Wall
Nicholas Thompsell – Europa and the Bull
Steve Watson – How Edwin Hubble’s discovery in 1929 of an expanding universe puts all this Brexit nonsense into perspective
Ross Young – Would it be so….