A brilliant evening at The Swan Hotel in Bradford-on-Avon last night for the award-giving and readings of the ten poems chosen to be printed on beermats for the Poems-on-a-Beermat-Competition. The ten winning poems, which can be read here, are:
- Rock Plain Boxing Club by Tammy Adams
- How She Wrote Your Name by Russ Berry
- A Pint of Light by John Glenday
- Night Sky by Rosie Jackson
- Night Swimming by Roy Marshall
- Spell by Ruth Roberts Owen
- Sunlight by Rick Rycroft
- Adam by Lesley Saunders
- Pale by Susan Utting
- Riverside by Sarah Westcott
It was fantastic to hear the poems read aloud in the cellar bar of The Swan to an attentive and friendly audience. Competition Judge, Martin Malone, and organiser, Dawn Gorman, commented on the extremely high standard of poems this year and everyone was delighted that the number of entries (392) was almost four times as many as last year.
You can probably tell from the poem titles that writers approached the subject of ‘Light’ (the competition theme) in a multitude of ways and that made the event all the more enjoyable and interesting. It was also fabulous to hear Martin read from his own work, especially new poems to do with WWI which form part of his current PhD project at Sheffield.
In the end it was Lesley Saunder’s Creation poem, ‘Adam’, which was awarded First Prize, with John Glenday’s beautiful poem about his father, ‘A Pint of Light’, given Second Prize, and Roy Marshall’s densely atmospheric ‘Night Swimming’ was Third.
The beermats are now in place in ten different pubs in Bradford-on-Avon for the duration of the Arts Festival which is in full flow. Visitors are encouraged to take part in a poetry trail, as each pub is ‘hosting’ a different poem. One of the prizewinning poets, and the daughter of publicans, Susan Utting, said, after reading her poem, how proud she was to be a part of a pub crawl!