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Making light work of poetry competition

It’s usually theatrical types who long to see their name in lights, but it obviously applies to poets too. Forget those images of tortured souls sitting in a dark garret, suffering for their art – today’s rhymesters are a whole new breed, if the response to Wordpool’s first National Poetry Competition is anything to go by.

More than 100 entered – obviously excited by the thought of seeing their work take centre stage in Blackpool’s Illuminations. And as long as they took ‘light’ as their theme, the sky was the limit. Which certainly applied to the winning entry by Sarah Leavesley, from Worcestershire, whose poem, That Night, was inspired by a snippet in The Guardian newspaper about a meteorite which hit the Earth in December 2013.

The onerous task of judging all the entries fell to award-winning poet Polly Atkin, who announced the winners to a good-sized crowd which had gathered at Blackpool Central Library for this fitting finale to National Poetry Day.

“I was so impressed with the standard of entries,” she said. “The theme was interpreted in a number of ways – we even had entries using the Illuminations as their inspiration. It was a pleasure to judge the work submitted.”

The standard of entries was so high that Polly created a long list and shortlist, and there was even a special commendation for a Blackpool-inspired verse.

After a reading of some of the winning works, and a hot pot supper, the audience and winners were whisked off to the Promenade to see Sarah’s work in situ – complete with an eye-catching animation by Emily & Anne.

Sarah couldn’t keep the excitement from her voice when she told me: “I think it’s wicked and I can’t stop looking at it! The animation is beautiful – I keep seeing different things in it. I’m thrilled to have been chosen as winner.”

You can see the animated poem all through the Illuminations Season – it’s opposite the Gynn Roundabout.

Winning Poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The complete list of winners:

Wordpool Longlist (25 poems)

Lara Clayton Light trap

Camille Ralphs Upset by its ubiquity, light turns itself in

Janet Norton Her Guiding Light

Anne Peterson Awakening

Lynne Taylor Ode to light

Terry Quinn For Finn

Fiona Jack Round the Street Lamp

Daniel Davies Greens Beach

Grainne Tobin Heavy Rain, Low Light

Anthony Watts This Evening

Anthony Watts Dust to Dust

Victoria Gatehouse Phosphorescence

Janet Lees Sister Lucinda

Janet Lees Moonshine

Sarah Leavesley That Night

Daisy King (Hylton-Potts) Sleeps

Gaia Holmes Last Orders at the Light Bar

Liz Davies The Evening Cleaner

Sue Davies The Mango Tree at First Light

Sue Davies Lucien’s meditation on the letter O

Jean Harrison Before Switching on the lights

Jean Harrison Watching from Olympus

Cynthia Mary Kitchen A spreadsheet of Stars

Thomas Capon Text Message

Jan Dean Waterlight

Blackpool Commendation Shortlist:

Robert Hill The Light Dances: a view from the cliff in September

Rachel Plummer Night Lights

Mags Bell Flashlight by Moonlight

Victoria Copeland Lit Up

Phil Howard Light Fantastic

Tim Rupp Lights

Shortlist (13 poems + BP Comm)

Sue Davies Lucien’s meditation on the letter O

Liz Davies The Evening Cleaner

Gaia Holmes Last Orders at the Light Bar

Sarah Leavesley That Night

Janet Lees Moonshine

Janet Lees Sister Lucinda

Victoria Gatehouse Phosphorescence

Anthony Watts Dust to Dust

Grainne Tobin Heavy Rain, Low Light

Daniel Davies Greens Beach

Camille Ralphs Upset by its ubiquity, light turns itself in

Janet Norton Her Guiding Light

Thomas Capon Text Message

Rachel Plummer Night Lights

Certificates

Winners:

1. Sarah Leavesley That Night

2. Gaia Holmes Last Orders at the Light Bar

3. Anthony Watts Dust to Dust

Commended:

Victoria Gatehouse Phosphorescence

Janet Lees Moonshine

Grainne Tobin Heavy Rain, Low Light

Camille Ralphs Upset by its ubiquity, light turns itself in

Rachel Plummer Night Lights Blackpool Commendation

Images by C J Griffiths Photography

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