Poetry Society Member Dena Fakhro is this year’s winner of the Otley Poetry Prize. On Dena’s winning poem, ‘Elegy for a Potosí miner’, the judge – Matthew Hedley Stoppard, Otley Town Poet, said:
The winner was the only poem to stay with me from the first reading. I think it’s such an elegant, arresting poem; drip-feeding the reader description and history, whilst maintaining a tautness, unique and surreal, almost like Lorca’s later work – obviously with a contemporary slant.
Here’s the first verse from the winning poem.
Not flickering by candle-light but an etching onto the darkness
in a cave mural scarring the alcove, from Goyan oil he stirs
slow birthing the sooty labyrinth. He coughs, curses, sparks
the kerosene, a circus torch about his head, drops a penny
to hear its copper chime, to pray for more verses…
Among the Commended poets are Society Members Gaia Holmes, Andy Humphrey (who also won the Spoken Word Prize – judged by Julia Deakin and Jane Kite), and Char March. In the Local Prize, Poetry Society Members Louise Holmes, Sandra Burnett, and Joanna Sedgwick were Commended.
2 June 2017