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Competition 2014 RESULTS

Poem of the Month:
July 14

Listen to Gill McEvoy’s poem Glass Bird in a Shop Window (read by Anne Stewart)

poetry Issue 12 ERRATUM

Dilys Wood at Brittle Star

see Dilys’s Guest Blog on Ambitious Women Poets

Holland House FULLY BOOKED

poetry Issue 12 is out!

Issue 14 guidelines



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          Arts Council England


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


Forthcoming anthology from Second Light, due Autumn 2014. Deadline for submissions has passed. Selection is in progress – more about the anthology here
info on our 2006 major anthology of womens’s poetry: Images of Women

** Poetry Society ‘Summer Reads 2014’: Elizabeth Soule recommends Inside the Brightness of Red **


Poem of the Month

Round 7, Month 11… the last before selection of the overall winner for the year…
Our judge this month is Wendy French and her winner is ‘a short extract’ from Zones of Avoidance, by Maggie Sawkins – Zones of Avoidance was the winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Tough competition, then, and our commended poets are: Caroline Carver, June Hall, Sue Rose and Merryn Williams.

Zones of Avoidance

     (a short extract)
I’m reading ‘The Confessions of an English Opium Eater’ –
I want to understand what drove my daughter out in the snow
with no coat or socks, in search of a fix.
I want to understand what divinity led her
to set up camp in the derelict ‘pigeon house’
after running out of sofas to surf.
I was a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds girl myself.
I liked the way it made inanimate objects move,
until that day in Balham when my guy sang Rock n Roll Suicide
from a third floor window, and an Alsatian leapt
from the wood grain of the station door, and policemen
were penguins in disguise.
Tough Love. The mantra of the support group for those
beaten by their loved one’s addiction.
When I was busted at nineteen and the bedsit landlord
tipped my belongings onto the street, the last person
I would’ve turned to was my mother.
You’ve made your bed. Lie on it. Lie on it. Lie on it.

Maggie Sawkins

Zones of Avoidance (multimedia live literature performance, directed by Mark C Hewitt), 2013;

Judge’s comment:
This was particularly hard for me to judge (to remain neutral) as Maggie Sawkins, a friend whose work I admire (as indeed I do all of the commended poets) was awarded the Ted Hughes prize for her innovative work, the poem/film of Zones of Avoidance. However this short poem/extract here stands alone as a very fine piece of writing. It is controlled yet full of feeling of the need to try and understand another person, your child. The language is simple, straightforward, there is no pretence for the poem to be anything other than what it is, a search for understanding with the heart felt ending, ‘You’ve made your bed lie on it’.

Wendy French

Sedna the Sea Goddess, by Caroline Carver
Yellow Bird, by June Hall
S31082011, by Sue Rose
My Cousin, by Merryn Williams