CONGRATULATIONS to Poetry Society Member Sheila Aldous, winner of the 2020 Welsh Poetry Competition, judged by Sally Spedding. Sheila had two other poems Highly Commended too!
Sheila is a North London girl with Devon in her soul. Living on the banks of the River Teign she is inspired by life generally, but also the natural landscape, river life, local history and love & loss. Her first collection, Paper Boats, the Burning of Teignmouth and Shaldon 1690, was published by Indigo Dreams. Sheila has an MA in Creative Writing from Exeter University. Her second collection, a chapbook Patterns of All Made Things, is due to be published by Hen Run, an imprint of Grey Hen Press.
Sally says of Sheila’s winning poem, ‘The Debt Due’:
“Inspired by Dylan Thomas’ visceral and moving poem ‘I Have Longed To Move Away’ first published by New Directions in 1935, this is an achingly empathic revelation of the then young poet’s need to break free from what he saw as entrapment between society’s conventions and what he believed to be ‘the lie’ supporting them. Despite his need to be more true to himself and spurn what he felt to be damaging, the conflicted Dylan wasn’t quite able to do this. And then in 1952 came his beloved father’s ‘betrayal’ by death. All this is captured by another accomplished poet who, it seems, is almost haunting 5, Cwmdonkin Drive, privy to Dylan’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Whose last two lines say it all.
Knowing about the payment of the debt
Knowing about being born to die.
A tour de force and a worthy winner.”
Poetry Society Members among the many Highly Commendeds: Sharon Black, Konstandinos Mahoney, Susan Szekely, Phil Coleman, Tanya Parker, Simon Maddrell, Chris Kinsey, Dena Fakhro, and Robin Muers. In addition, there were Special Mentions for more poets, including fellow Members Chrissy Banks and Lizzie Ballagher.
The first Welsh Poetry Competition was set up by poet & writer Dave Lewis in 2007. They aim to encourage and foster the wealth of creative writing talent that exists in Wales.
31 July 2020