'Corkscrew Hill Photo' is the winner of the National Poetry Competition 2014.

Filmpoem by James William Norton. Commissioned in collaboration with Alastair Cook and Filmpoem.

From the judges: "'Corkscrew Hill Photo' caught my eye when reading through a large batch of entries. It seemed to contain a strange mix of naivety and complexity. Its sonic effects were engrossing. Its phrasing was surprising and fresh – 'the casement steams with sunset', 'seagull clutter, gape of lime kiln'. Most of all, I couldn't quite grasp what it was about, but in the best of ways – I wanted to reread and make my own story from what I was being offered. Like all good poems, it offered the shared experience of writership and readership. It's not a typical ekphrastic poem, and I couldn't place it geographically or timewise (does it jump backwards and forwards?), but that didn't matter. It's a stunning poem which mixes sweetness, sentiment, the visual and a touch of the grotesque. I am glad we found it." – Roddy Lumsden

Corkscrew Hill Photo

by Roger Philip Dennis

All afternoon she counts the sounds
until the fly-specked room crackles with silence.
Even the song thrush noteless. A thick drizzle
trickles rivulets down the window pane,
smears distance on fields, curtains-off hills
and greens the sagged thatch,
aches in the creaking gate and screws
watering eye to misting glass:
a hearse skids slowly up the muddy lane,
blurs in droplets on a spider-web,
spins sideways into darkness…

     …rattling cough of cattle, rusty tractor,
     hinge of paint-peeled door, gears
     of cars forced to back in one-track lanes,
     buzz of pylons spanning the hum
     of outboards in the yachtsmen’s creek,
     yelp of kids in the converted Mill,
     the soft click-click of a camera-shutter
     up Corkscrew Hill…
The casement steams with sunset. She picks herself
up off the floor, mouth dry as mourner’s grin.
Her arm reaches, shakes, reaches again,
gathers the clattering jar from the shelf.

The landlord frowns, sniffing cat,
moth-ball, mould. She squares her back
on his fine view – the duck bob,
seagull clutter, gape of lime kiln.
    “And a nip of lovage,”
before he can point her
the off-licence hatch in the yard,
    “to keep out the damp!”
and smiles spittle.
Her flagon scrapes a scroll of varnish
the length of the bar’s stripped pine,
past bleating townies, past the regular’s chair
and the corner where the photographer
sits draining her valley
through a tilted lens.

Today we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. This year we had a massive 12,288 poems from a remarkable 5,846 young poets from sixty-nine countries.

Judges Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts had their work cut out selecting the 100 winners from the quantity and quality of entries. Liz applauded the winning poets for a “liveliness and freshness that captured our attention immediately”, and Michael praised the “quality of risk and surprise.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony at Southbank Centre where the top 15 winners were invited to read their poems to a room packed full of VIP guests, Press, parents and established poets.  These poems will go on to be published in the winners’ anthology.

Top 15 Poets

Riona Millar
Ben Read
Sophie Carney
Gaia-Rose Harper
Magnus Dixon
Kajol Marathe
Ian Macartney
Maud Mullan
Allie Spensley
Eira Murphy
Jack Sugar
Sophia Tait
Ella Standage
Jonathan Stone


85 Commended Poets

Will Adams, Rebecca Alifimoff, Isla Anderson, Natasha Blinder, Daniel Blokh, Aisha Mango Borja, Fóla J. Brady, Eva Brand Whitehead, Georgie Brooke, Priya Bryant, Jasmine Burgess, Jenny Burville-Riley, MikaelaCarmichael, Autumn Carson, Freya Carter, Damayanti Chatterjee, Michelle Chen, Misbah Choudhry, Shamma Dalal, Catherine Dent, Leila  Dickinson, Sala Fadelallah, Annie Fan, Gianni Fortes, Ava Goga, Tom Gonzalez-Carvajal, Alex Greenberg, Lorcan Greene, Molly Groarke, Katherine Hampshire, Kathryn Hargett, Hal Henderson, Katherina Högler, Eli Hong, Patrick Hughes, Finty Hunter, Yasmin Inkersole, Satta Kamara, Ruby Kelman, Amelia Kendall, Inara Lalani, Alannah Lewis, Hannah Link, Alice Long, Kavae Loseby, Annalise Lozier, Lauren Maltas, Hermione Marshall, Jacob Mason-White, Gazelle Mba, Marina McCready, Miles McInerney, Abby Meyer, Ruby Morvan, Mia Nelson, Zinath Oloko, Pratiksha Saha, Claire Seymour, Shakthi Shrima, Chloe Smith, Colette Spaul, Audrey Spensley, Reem Sultan, Charis Taplin, Andrew Telford, Abigail Thomson, Amber Thornton, Caroline Tsai, Finn Scarr de Haas van Dorsser, Ben Vince, Imogen Wade, Lucy Wainger, Tilly Wainwright, Molly Watkins, Alice West, Emily Wilder, Amy Wolstenholme, Maria Woodford, Jim Woods, Chelsy Wu, Catherine Yarrow, Rawan Yousif, Alex Zhang, Margaret Zhang, Lisa Zou.

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