Poetry Competition Winners and Prize-giving Event
The intimate space of the Nottingham Contemporary’s café-bar was host to last Friday’s prize-giving event. It was an evening of poetry and music. David Sillitoe, our compere for the evening, set the ball rolling by reading a selection of Alan’s poetry, a poignant reminder that he was an accomplished poet as well an as acclaimed novelist and evocative travel writer.
Then it was over to Nottingham roots band Blue Yonder whose thirty minute opening set included their ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’-inspired classic “Propaganda”. It made for a perfect segue to the prize-giving. Committee member and Nottingham Poetry Society stalwart Viv Apple introduced adjudicator Ruth Fainlight.
Ruth presented an overview of the winning poems and praised their technical merits, announcing the winners – in time-honoured tradition – in reverse order. Five runner-up prizes of £10 each went to Paul Groves for his poem ‘Memoir’, Roy Marshall for ‘The Bow Saw’, Fiona Richie Walker for ‘In Life Story’, Corrinna Toop for ‘In a Hall of Shells and Mirrors’ and Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé for ‘By the Waterfront’.
£50 third prize went to Adrian Buckner (right) for ‘Downshifting’, praised by Ruth Fainlight as “rich with evocation of the treasures of English literature”.
Lesley Burt (left) won second prize – to the tune of £100 – for ‘Carpet Shop in Delhi’, “a very cunningly constructed poem … a vivid, almost painterly picture”. Deceptively short and deceptively elegant, Lesley’s poem conjured “a crowded, colourful interior, and evoked the human situation and moment with much artistry”.
The £200 first prize, for ‘Poems to My Horse’, was awarded to C.J. Allen (right). Ruth Fainlight praised his technical accomplishments, the subtle use of imagery and assonance, and recognised in the subject matter the evocation of “a symbol of eternal endurance”, adding that the use of “morning” as the first and last word of the poem “frames and distances it very satisfactorily” .
Please click on the link to read each of the winning poems along with adjudicator’s remarks.
After Blue Yonder’s second set, there was more poetry courtesy of former Derbyshire Poet Laureate Cathy Grindrod, and Nottingham Poetry Society chairman Jeremy Duffield, two favourites on the Midlands literary scene who needed no introduction. Accomplished poets individually, as well as a great double act, they provided some diverse versifying before Blue Yonder wrapped up the evening with a blinding final set. As the last notes of The Band’s anthemic “The Weight” rang out, it was a reminder of how essential music and poetry are.
Dennis Apple – Ruth Fainlight, Adrian Buckner, Lesley Burt, C.J. Allen, Jeremy Duffield & Cathy Grindrod
Christopher Frost – David Sillitoe, Blue Yonder