A big welcome to you all and here are the results and the judge's comments from Michael Blackburn
Dave Kavanagh will be contacting the prizewinners on 18th December 2017 to arrange the prizes
1st: Derek Kannemeyer
2nd: Jackie Gorman
3rd: Christopher Meehan
There was a reassuring variety of voices and poetic forms in the entries to the competition. Many of the poems dealt with the standard subjects of poetry, ie, close relationships, love, loss, and so on, but others were more adventurous in exploring the experiences of others, or of taking up a different viewpoint from which to look at them. Others deployed a more radical and experimental approach to the writing itself, mingling the playful with the serious.
What makes the winners stand out, and what makes them similar to each other (despite, paradoxically, their great differences) comes down to a number of essential qualities. Each has a confident and distinctive voice. When you read you feel as if you are listening to a real person, and the authority with which they speak encourages you to listen.
Each poet addresses their subject through the presentation of clear and persuasive details, rather than through overt explanations of their feelings.
Each poet has a developed sense of form. That is, whether they employ a self-imposed shape for the poem or appear to let the poem dictate its own stretching out on the page, the poet remains in control and harnesses the power of the words within that shape.
And lastly, the language of each of the winners is economical in its own way. The words are appropriately chosen; they are exact; they are not padding, and they are not allowed to lead the poet on irrelevant byeways.
It has been a pleasure to read these entries and refreshing to encounter new, exciting work.