National Poetry Competition 2015 Winners Announced

The winners of the National Poetry Competition
The winners of the National Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Eric Berlin, who has won this year’s Competition with his poem ‘Night Errand’, which was announced at the National Poetry Competition Awards Ceremony at the Savile Club, London, 31 March 2016. Eric is a New York based freelance editor and teacher, and his poem was written “in that bleary first year after the birth of our baby, a baby we’d tried for years to conceive, and who only came after we’d given up hope”. You can read ‘Night Errand’ here.

Eric said about the win, “Once as a kid, I guessed the right number of jellybeans in a giant jar at the fair – and that soft click of my intuition aligning with the actual gave me faith in what I didn’t know I knew. Getting that phone call with the words “You’ve won,” in the rising pitch of a British accent, felt just as odd and impossibly true.”

National Poetry Competition judge Sarah Howe said of the winning poem: “‘Night Errand’ was one of those poems that wouldn’t let you move on, but demanded a pause to dwell and recoup, followed by the compulsion to read it again.”

You can find more information on the competition, the winners and the judges on our press release page

Congratulations go to David Hawkins who came second with ‘Long Distance Relationship with a Mountain’. David is a writer and ecologist from Bristol, and his entry was praised by judge David Wheatley as “poetry as field composition, assembling, mapping, ‘thinking with these hills’ to summon the wonders of place into being before the reader’s eyes.”

Congratulations also to Carolyn Oxley, who came third with her poem ‘Biracial’. Oxley hails from the Rocky Mountain foothills of Colorado, and says of her win “My first and last poetry award was received at a local Colorado county fair, one floor above the fainting goats. To cross to London this year as a winning poet in the National Poetry Competition is a tremendous honor that inspires me to commit more acts of poetry.”

The judges would also like to commend the following poets for their entries:

Mara Adamitz Scrupe for ‘Arillus’, Geraldine Clarkson for ‘St Rose of Lima’s Revenge’, Simon Jenner for ‘Peter Philips’ Part Book Talks to Brueghel’, Afra Kingdon for ‘Tabasco’, Zaffar Kunial for ‘Six’, Howard Laughton for ‘Six Easy Calculations’, and Fran Lock for ‘Gentleman Caller’.

One last thing – this year, we are able to offer longlisted entrants selected discounts on workshops and Society memberships, as a small thank you to our talented and creative community who raised this year’s bar for quality so exceptionally high. If you are on the longlist, you should have been contacted about your discounts already. We would like to highlight the longlisted poets who made exceptional submissions this year:

A.C.H. Smith, Alan Ward, Alexia Staker, Alison Barr, Alison Porter, Amali Rodrigo, Amy Freear, Andre Mangeot, Andrew Lambeth, Bethany W Pope, Chloe Balcomb, Chris Edgoose, Chris Rice, Christopher North, Cynthia Hughes, David Tait, Debbie Benson, Derek Littlewood, Desiree Hellegers, Dolores Walshe, Edward Barker, Edwina Gleeson, Ekkehard Dengler, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, Ellen Cranitch, Fran Lock, Freya Dean, Graham Mort, Gregory Leadbetter, Harriet Husbands, Harriet Torr, Helen Oswald, Howard Wright, Ian McEwan, Jake Reynolds, James Friedman, Jane Todd Cooper, Jed Myers, Jeffrey Turner, Jenny Molberg, Jerrold Yam, Jim Green, Joanne Key, John Murphy, John D. Kelly, Jonathan Tel, Jonathan Edwards, JP Nosbaum, Julie Emerson, Kathleen Bell, Kenneth Sullivan, Kerry Rawlinson, Kieran O’Sullivan, Kim Moore, Kishore Minifie Ryan, Laila Farnes, Leah Larwood, Lesley Saunders, Lydia Kennaway, Madiha Bataineh, Maeve Henry, Mario Petrucci, Martha Sprackland, Martin Pearce, Matthew Jarvis, Melissa Barrett, Michael Woods, Natalya Anderson, Nichola Deane, Olivia Campbell, Pat Winslow, Patricia McCarthy, Patrick Toland, Patrick Brandon, Paul Carney, Paul Evans, Paul Mills, Peter Spafford, Pippa Little, Rachel Woolf, Richard Scott, Richard Tyrrell, Rishi Dastidar, Robert Saxton, Robin Knight, Roger Philip Dennis, Rosemary Norman, Rosie Shepperd, Roy Kelly, Sally Spedding, Sarah Leavesley, Sarah Roby, Stephanie Norgate, Stephen Spratt, Stephen Duncan, Sue Davies, Sue Banister, Tom Cleary, Tony Strong, Tracy Ryan, Trevor Ketner and Wes Lee