Congratulations to Damen O’Brien, winner of the 2019 Welsh Poetry Competition for his poem ‘The Map-Maker’s Tale’. This year’s judge was Mike Jenkins, winner of Wales Book of the Year in 1998 and former editor of Poetry Wales. Mike said of Damon’s poem:
“it creates in such a short space, a world you inhabit, albeit a frightening, dystopian one”
In second place was Pauline Plummer for ‘The Devil’s Shoes in Back Home Afro-Caribbean Shop’ (“these shoes take on characters, suggesting dance and celebration and, ultimately, dangerous allure”) and Poetry Society Member Rob Miles came third for ‘What are you owl’ (“the sheer power and empathy of this poem was hard to resist.”)
Many other Poetry Society Members were close to the top three: Deborah Harvey, Gill Learner, Jackie Biggs, Sheila Aldous and Peter Wallis were Highly Commended, while poems from Virginia Griem, Sally Festing, Christopher M James, Gill Learner (again), Sharon Black, Lawrence Illsley and Lizzie Ballagher received special mentions.
The first Welsh Poetry Competition was set up by poet and writer Dave Lewis in 2007. Officially launched on St David’s Day at Clwb-Y-Bont, Pontypridd, 2007 the aim is “to encourage and foster the wealth of creative writing talent that we know exists in Wales but currently languishes in the doldrums. The aim is to inspire people to capture life in the present day and to give a voice to a new generation of poets and writers. We are not interested in purely academic types of literature but would much rather see pure raw passion burst onto the creative writing scene in Wales.”
21 June 2019