Winning, losing and taking part.

So, I entered a poetry competition. I don’t often do this and I think perhaps I should. It gives me a focus and a deadline. I work better to deadlines. Some poetry competitions charge an entrance fee, I must admit that puts me off. This one did not, and the prize was an Arvon writing retreat. I have been on 2 Arvon retreats. Arvon weeks cost a lot of money, but they are worth every penny, however if you don’t have £600 spare, then they are a bit out of reach. I was lucky enough to be awarded a grant for my first one and my second one was part funded by Arvon and part funded by The Mouthy Poets, when we had a week arranged specifically for us. The Mouthy Poets are the poetry collective for young people, set up by Deborah Stevenson, and assisted by me with my glorious title of ‘co-director’ or as they often call me ‘Mother Mouthy’.
With the huge carrot of another FREE Arvon experience, I set about writing a poem. The competition was run by Arvon and English PEN, who campaign for freedom to write and freedom to read. The remit was to write a poem about a made up word.

The winner wasn’t me, but I am one of the 30 shortlisted writers who will be published in an ebook, so I am happy about that. Then I found out that the winner was David Grubb, a proper full-on published poet, so I am in good company! All in all, I am encouraged to submit to more competitions, although my suspicious nature will make me do a bit of research before parting with my hard earned cash.

HIs entry was entitled Cribbling

and mine:


Changed by the loss of her.

The hole she leaves behind,
larger than the space she inhabited,
has caused a backdraught
which sucks me
from adult to grown-up.

Shape shifted.

These shoes pinch
my owntwofeet
now I am standing on them.


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