Poetry student Shirley-Anne Kennedy gets off to flying start
A member of the Write Out Loud team who co-hosts the Write Out Middleton open mic night has been named joint winner of a poetry competition. Shirley-Anne Kennedy, who also co-hosts the monthly Kultura poetry night in Todmorden, became a creative writing student at Bolton University this autumn.
This week she was named joint winner with research fellow Antoine Villesuzanne of Bolton University and Bolton Libraries joint poetry competition in the university category. The public category winners were John Casson and 10-year-old Isobel Richards.
Guest poet Jo Bell presented the awards at a special event in Bolton this week. The competition was judged by Evan Jones, of Bolton University, and Michael Schmidt, founder of Carcanet Press and PN Review magazine, and currently professor of poetry at Glasgow University.
Shirley-Anne said: “This is the first time I have entered this competition and I did so because of the opportunity and privilege to have a poem read by Michael Schmidt. My poem, 'Famine Weavers' was in part inspired by Kath Reade's version of Four Loom Weaver."
My grandmother saw them gather once,
their restless particles forming in fog.
Awakened by frost dressing rooftops
like a knocker-up tapping on glass.
Murmuring shades, ragged skeletal moths,
dancing slowly in hisses of gas light.
Grouped tight to keep the living out,
reflecting in mill windows and puddles.
Clogs echoing on wet cobblestones,
Mee-maws hollowing into the night.