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Poem of the Month:
Apr 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 8: Kate Foley judged the April competition and has chosen Alison Brackenbury’s No as her winning poem. Her selection of commended poems are by Helen Ivory, Gill McEvoy, Jane McLaughlin and Simone Mansell Broome.


No one is ever good enough,
or kind enough.
No one stays awake
through the lovely rush of rain which fills our dark.
No one can hold the music.
They are counting coins or frowning
they are toppling, they are drowning.
No one is good.
But nothing is as quick as us,
no screen can match us
tape’s whirr catch us
nothing tilts like sun
to light from sad.
Nothing in all history
can reach to take your hand from me,
the dark, the rain’s gift, O
we should be glad.

Alison Brackenbury

Poem published: The Times Literary Supplement.


Judge’s comment:
Brackenbury packs into a few lines the whole mystery of ‘the rush of rain that fills the dark’, ‘the tilt of the sun’, so that we feel the bleakness of our ‘counting’, ‘toppling’, ‘drowning’ selves, set against that magical ‘music’. Yet, at the last, without ornament or sentiment, because we can feel the touch of another’s hand, ‘we should be glad’.

Kate Foley

Bluebeard the Chef, by Helen Ivory
Glass Bird in a Shop Window, by Gill McEvoy
The Lacemaker Travels to Seville, by Jane McLaughlin
Five Changes, by Simone Mansell Broome