It’s a Saturday morning in North Bridlington Library. I’m sitting with one of my fellow judges for the East Riding Poetry competition, Wendy Pratt, waiting for the winners and highly commended poets to turn up for the award giving event. It seems that the room is empty one moment and then full of excited and slightly nervous writers the next. No-one knows if they have won, or been placed, just that they may be up for a prize.
[Wendy, Matthew Hedley Stoppard and I had a happy time judging all the entries in four categories.
With many of the two hundred or so entries there was the buzz of reading something that was new, exciting and original in thought and expression. And to make it more interesting it was totally anonymous. None of us judges knew who had written the poems or indeed who had won.]
And then everyone has arrived and we move into a larger room set out for an audience and we have the privilege of presenting prizes to many fine poets and listening to them reading their entries. It is a beautiful and often moving occasion where poets share tender, joyful and memory-laden experiences with us.
Here are the winners and highly commended in each category.
Primary: Highly commended, Emma Lindley
Winner: Daniel Williams
Secondary: Highly Commended, Robin Howley
Winner, Max Falcus
Adult: Highly Commended, Gail Mosley, Sandra Burnett
Third place, John Wedgwood Clarke
Second place, Di Slaney
Winner, Alison Riley
Prison: Highly commended, Christopher Baker, Ahmed Ghaddafi.