Winners of Café Writers’ Competition

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The Café Writers’ 2010 Poetry Competition received an entry of 1,936 poems.

The organisers give a huge thanks to all those who entered and hope the fact that you have contributed to maintaining their exciting programme and paying writers properly helps mitigate any disappointment, if you haven’t won.

The Judge Michael Symmons Roberts writes:

This year's bumper crop of poems for the Cafe Writers Competition made the judge's job a tough but fascinating one. As ever with open competitions, the first cut was the easiest. Out went the one-off attempts, the off-the-cuff verses penned for a particular person or occasion, but not rooted in wide and deep reading of poetry. These are not necessarily bad verses. They may not stand the test of time, as hard-worked, hard-won works of art, but they would often stand the test of place, spoken among people who care, who know.

After that cut, the process got harder. There were many moving elegies, poems of place - home and abroad - and very many poems of love or the lack of love. Beyond a clear and confident voice, I was looking for poems steeped in the reading of great poems of the past, for poems that surprised the writer as much as the reader (or at least, they read that way), for poems where the energy comes from a negotiation with form, image, line and (sometimes) stanza. In my view, the winning poems this year had something of these qualities. It was a pleasure to read them.

Some of the winners and commended poets will be joining us on the 12th February at 7.45 to read with Michael at Jurnet’s Bar, Wensum Lodge 169 King St Norwich NR1 1QW.

Congratulations to all the winning and commended poets and commiserations to those who weren’t rewarded for their efforts.

The results are:

FIRST - £1000          'THE GROOMING OF THE MUTE SWAN' -  LA Watt, London
SECOND - £300       'THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT THE HAT' - Pauline Plummer, North Shields

– All winning £50
AMERICAN TRUCKS – Ann Pilling, Hawes, North Yorkshire
ABOUT ME NOW – Catherine Charlwood, Whitwick, Leicestershire
WHAT WE THOUGHT WE KNEW – Jenny Lewis, Oxford
I'M ON A TRAIN – Mick Wood, France

AFTER JEOFFRY – Benita Jess, Ramsden Heath, Essex

POEM – Tom Warner, Norwich

◄ The Rememberers

Dunking Valentines - Just to let you know where I am: I'm out ►


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