Jenny Mitchell wins Fosseway Writers Poetry Competition

Jenny Mitchell and David Smith

CONGRATULATIONS to Poetry Society Member Jenny Mitchell who has won the Fosseway Writers Poetry Competition on the theme of ‘remote’, judged by Leanne Moden. Jenny’s poem is called ‘How to Grow an Orchid’. Her prize-winning debut poetry collection Her Lost Language is available from Indigo Dreams. Her poems have been broadcast on Radio 4 and BBC2, and published in several magazines, including ‘The Rialto’ and ‘The New European’. She also has eight poems in parallel translation in the Italian publication ‘Versodove’.

Fellow Poetry Society Member David Smith is second for ‘The One Everybody Will Forget’. After a career helping young people write and appreciate poetry, David has been published in Acumen and the Sentinel Literary Quarterly and has been placed in several competitions including being chosen three times in Guernsey’s Poems On The Move competition. He is sure that his membership of Derby Stanza has made a huge difference to his development as a poet.

And Society Member Derek Hughes is one of the Highly Commended poets.

Leanne on Jenny’s poem:

This poem really took me by surprise – it’s a visceral, gut-punch of a piece, and that final line gave me goose bumps. The poem takes the theme of remoteness and turns it inwards, in a way that is striking, shocking and poignant, all at once. It has some beautiful, haunting imagery, but the thing that strikes me most is that, every time I read it, I find something different. I just can’t stop thinking about it, and that’s why I’ve chosen it as my favourite poem.

Leanne on David’s poem:

I love the bubbling undercurrent of emotion in this poem: we’ve all been in situations where we’ve been overlooked or forgotten, despite our best efforts. But this poem also balances sharp imagery, matter-of-fact delivery and a highly original idea. The voice and characterisation of the poem are great, and the flares of humour add just the right amount of pathos too.

Leanne on Derek’s poem:

I love the quiet, contemplative quality of this poem; the imagery is so sparsely described but so finely constructed that it feels like walking quietly through snow, hearing the calls of wild animals in the distance.

Fosseway Writers are a long-established group based in and around Newark, Nottinghamshire (itself situated on the old Roman ‘Fosse Way’, which is mostly now the route of the modern A46).

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3 June 2020