A record year for the Guernsey International Poetry Competition, organised as part of the Guernsey Literary Festival4th May 2017
It’s been a record year for entries in the Guernsey International Poetry Competition, with poems submitted from all over the world and a good number from local schools.
EXETER poet Sally Douglas scooped the top prize in this year’s Guernsey International Poetry Competition, judged by acclaimed Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis, the first writer ever to hold the title of National Poet of Wales.
Gwyneth Lewis described the standard of winning poems as ‘great’ and said she was ‘very pleased with the selection we have’ for the final judging.
Not only did Sally Douglas win the £1000 first prize in the competition’s open category with her poem Demeter’s Lament, but she took joint third prize as well. Second prize went to Gabriel Griffin, founder of the Poetry on the Lake on Islola San Guilio, Italy and joint third to Fiona Ritchie Walker of Blaydon-on-Tyne.
The poetry competition, which is organised as part of the Guernsey Literary Festival and sponsored by Browns Advocates, attracted an international range of entries, from as far afield as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, the United States and India. There were entries from Italy, Switzerland and France, as well as from many parts of the British Isles. The competition has been run since 2010 and this year was a record for the number of entries.
The winning poems will be part of the Poems on the Move and Poems on the Buses exhibitions this year.
There was a Guernsey winner in the Channel Islands section. Julia Meredith took first place with her poem Afterthoughts, ahead of Marlene Morris and Wendy Falla from Jersey. Two other Guernsey poets, James Willis and Lester Queripel were also finalists in this section.
And there was also a Guernsey winner in the Young People’s Category, with Isaac Powers taking first place with his poem The Timeless Waltz, ahead of Eilidh Lang from Switzerland and another Guernsey entrant, Alex Soulsby, took third. Caine Langlois from Guernsey and Pauline Boateng from London were finalists.
Competition organiser Livia Bluecher said that in this class, ‘We are especially happy to report that for this year we’ve had good numbers of quality submissions from schools in Guernsey.
‘A number of entrants --and a winner -- came from Le Murier High School, more entries arrived from St Sampson’s High and Ladies College, we’ve had a few independent submissions from young poets, and the first place winner among this year’s young people is from Elizabeth College, which so far has contributed the largest numbers of entries by young people over the years the competition has been running.’
All the winners and their poems will be published online on the Guernsey Literary Festival website, which also includes full details of all the events in the Literary Festival, which is being held from 10-14 May. Thirteen of this year’s category winners will be exhibited at the Airport in May and from this autumn, poems will be displayed on Guernsey’s buses as part of Poetry on the Buses.
A special winners’ awards and reading event will be held on the first evening of the Festival, 10 May at 6pm at Elizabeth College Hall, when the winners will receive their prizes from Gwyneth Lewis. She is also involved in a poetry and writing workshop the following day at Les Cotils, a ‘poetry detective’ event at the Guille Alles Library on Friday 12th at 2.30 and a reading of her work at Castle Cornet on the Friday evening at 7.15 pm at Castel Cornet. Full details and tickets available on Guernseyliteraryfestival.com.