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The International Welsh Poetry Competition 2020

Published Mon 27 Jul 2020 - By Literature Wales

The International Welsh Poetry Competition 2020 organisers have announced the winners of their prestigious 14th contest, judged by acclaimed Welsh poet and writer Sally Spedding. The overall winner was Sheila Aldous for her poem ‘The Debt Due’.

The winners were as follows:

1st Prize: THE DEBT DUE – Sheila Aldous, Devon, England

2nd Prize: TO PAUL CELAN – Linda M James, Canterbury, England

3rd Prize: UNSCYTHED – John Gallas, Markfield, England

Sally also choose another 25 poems for the Highly Commended section with another 40 poems also given a special mention, such was the quality of entries this year. Although there were several Welsh poets amongst the long list, winners came from all over the world. Winning poems and judges’ comments can be viewed on the competition website: www.welshpoetry.co.uk

Judge Sally Spedding said: “It has been a huge privilege to have once again been invited by Dave Lewis to adjudicate this year’s truly international Welsh Poetry Competition, with a record number of entries. The main themes involved memories, family and relationships, trees, flowers, woodland, birds, the sea and its shores, death, dying, hospitals, lockdown and its consequences, journeys, doom, pregnancy and birth, recollections, self-examination, Aberfan and other places in Wales. Other countries’ histories, too. Save for one poem, there was a noticeable lack of humour, which is hardly surprising. However, a veritable, treasure hunt, with so many gems to choose from…”

Competition organiser Dave Lewis said: “It always amazes me just how good many of the poems we get are. There is so much writing talent out there and it’s great to be able to celebrate this each year. As well as being the biggest and most well-respected poetry competition in Wales, in our history we’ve had entries from at least forty countries around the globe, highlighting just how diverse and inclusive the contest is!”

 

Full list of winners:

WINNERS

1st Prize: THE DEBT DUE – Sheila Aldous, Devon, England

2nd Prize: TO PAUL CELAN – Linda M James, Canterbury, England

3rd Prize: UNSCYTHED – John Gallas, Markfield, England

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

4th       HIDDEN PREY – Sheila Aldous, Devon, England

5th       LISTEN TO ME I AM ODILE – Judith Drazin, Bristol

6th       CELL – Helen Cook, Maesllyn, Wales

7th       CIRCUMNAVIGATION – Sharon Black, France

8th       A KIND OF MUSIC – Isobel Thrilling, Skipton, England

9th       TOTAL IMMERSION – Konstandinos Mahoney, London, England

10th     MOTHER GODDESSES OF NETHERBY – Susan Szekely, Shipley, England

11th     MOTHS – Sheila Aldous, Devon, England

12th     IN THE GENTS AT CRAIG-Y-NOS VISITOR CENTRE – Phil Coleman, Pontardawe, Wales

13th     DELFT – Tanya Parker, York, England

14th     PRETTIEST HOUSE IN THE STREET – Rebecca Palmer, Christchurch, NZ

15th     A NUT ROAST HAS ARRIVED – Simon Maddrell, Brighton & Hove, England

16th     LIZZIE PINCHES (Grandmother’s Skates) – Chris Kinsey, Newtown, Wales

17th     WELSH BAMBOO – Mike Pullman, Hathersage, England

18th     QASIDA IN TIME SLOWED TO THE RHYTHM OF CATS – Dena Fakhro, London, England

19th     CHOSEN FOR THE SEA – Jodie Marchant, Coleford, England

20th     LARGE HOTEL – Robin Muers, Rugby, England

To view the full list of winners and read the judges’ comments please visit Welsh Poetry’s website: www.welshpoetry.co.uk