Dena Fakhro wins Otley Poetry Prize

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.

Read all the winning poems

2 June 2017