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Poem of the Month:
Mar 17

Comp 2017: now open

May Festival
now booking
19th/20th May

Holland House
now reserve places only

poetry latest Issue, 17

new Remote Workshop Perceptions of Time

poetry Guidelines

poetry Issue 14 & 15 extracts now online

Competition prior year Results


*** NOW BOOKING Spring Festival (& Holland House, reserve places only remaining) ***

*** 2017 POETRY COMPETITION for Long & Short Poems by women – Now Open… ***

*** Nov 16: New Remote Workshop now available… Perceptions of Time, by Myra Schneider
(Fanfare & Her Wings of Glass, both series still available) ***

Need help with travel to Second Light events? See Second Light Mary MacRae ‘Access to Poetry’ Fund


Poem of the Month

Round 10, Month 7: Our judge this month, ‘from a very strong field’ is Katherine Gallagher. She has selected Mimi Khalvat’s poem The Valley as her winner. The four commended poems are by Alison Brackenbury, Gill Hortiz, Iris Anne Lewis and Daphne Milne.

The Valley

Through a thin spray of flowers from the valley
(and frailer for the shyness you gave them with),
through sprigs of blue, their minute suns, many
and angled to many corners of the earth,
I saw, not the valley or even the hill
that rose in front of me, but half-imagined
plateaux that lay beyond these disused mills:
meadows waist-high, horizons mountain-rimmed.
Wildflowers grow there in abundance, so many
you could reap armfuls of them, cauldrons
of colour stoked with their dyes, cornflowers, teasels
snarling your hair and on your headscarf, apron,
shirt and shawl, the whole sky would spill a pinny
studded with seeds. But thank you, thank you for these.

Mimi Khalvati

this poem published in collecton The Meanest Flower, Carcanet, 2007

Judge’s comment:
From a very strong field, I have chosen Mimi Khalvati’s beautiful sonnet, The Valley for its subtle development from the original image (the gift of a ‘thin spray of flowers from the valley’) to an expansiveness of ‘half-imagined / plateaux’ , ‘meadows waist-high, horizons mountain-rimmed’, vistas vibrant with wildflowers, ‘cauldrons / of colour stoked with their dyes’ ̵ ‘the whole sky’ evoked in the reach of an eye and the brevity of a sonnet.

Katherine Gallagher

No, by Alison Brackenbury
What Lies in the Winter Wood, by Gill Horitz
Woodland Burial, by Iris Anne Lewis
Storm St Ives, by Daphne Milne