Wayne Holloway-Smith wins National Poetry Competition

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Wayne Holloway-Smith has won the Poetry Society's £5,000 National Poetry Competition with his poem ‘The posh mums are boxing in the square’. One of the judges, Kei Miller, said:  "It seems unfair at times that poetry, one of the chief articulators of our deepest sentiments, should be required in the same breath to avoid sentimentality. But when you see it done, as it is done so well in ‘The posh mums are boxing in the square’ it takes your breath away – a mother reimagined into life, risen from her bed and given boxing gloves to fight off a terrible illness. The title and the set up are so wonderfully absurd, we are led smiling into a poem that hits us in our own gut with its devastating gravitas."

The winner was chosen by judges Kim Moore, Kei Miller and Mark Waldron from over 14,000 poems.

Wayne Holloway-Smith gained a PhD in creative and critical writing from Brunel University in 2015. He is the author of a pocketbook, Beloved, in case you've been wondering (Donut, 2011), and a full-length collection, Alarum (Bloodaxe, 2017).

Second prize went to Katie Griffiths  for ‘Do not indulge indigo’, and Mark Fiddes was third with ‘Polite Safety Notice’. Commended were Vasiliki Albedo, Lia Brooks, Ella Frears, Nick Garrard, Kirsten Irving, Natalie Shaw and Amaury Wonderling.

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