Clare Best, Stephen Keeler and Maria McManus win Coast to Coast to Coast prize

Coast to Coast to Coast: poetry between unique handmade covers

The four winners of the third Coast to Coast to Coast Individual Poet Journal Competition have been announced and each will receive Limited Edition hand-stitched journals – including Poetry Society Members Clare Best, Stephen Keeler and Maria McManus, alongside Sarah Salway. The journals will be created for launches in Liverpool in Spring 2021.

There were Special Mentions for Poetry Society Members Andrew Rudd, Pauline Rowe, Ruth Wiggins, Sara Levy and Barbara Hickson – alongside Michael Farry.

Coast to Coast to Coast was launched in 2017 by Maria Isakova Bennett and publishes poetry between unique handmade covers.


Over the past six weeks I’ve had the pleasure of reading and rereading (in some cases three or four times) each submission. I feel privileged. Thank you all. The task, to select poets to have their poems stitched between the covers is always demanding and this time, due to the high standard, despite the extra sewing and creating, I’ve selected four poets to have Limited Edition hand-stitched journals created from over 100 portfolios submitted – almost all excellent work worthy of publication.

Clare Best’s End of Season takes the reader to the northern shore of Lago Maggiore. The wonderful musical quality kept calling me back to the beautiful cycle of love and loss.

Stephen Keeler’s Scar Tissue is an arresting memorial, a passing by, passing through, passing on, and of what is left behind

Maria McManus’ Ellipses inspired by the Armagh Observatory, are poems dedicated to Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a world-renowned astrophysicist from Co. Armagh, taking the reader literally to another place

Sarah Salway’s beautifully meditative and spare Let’s Dance leaves space for the reader and listener, and concludes with an invitation and hopefulness

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24 June 2020