Poetry Space Competition 2013 – The Results and top three winning poets.

Thanks to everyone who entered Poetry Space Competition 2013. Thanks also to Martyn Crucefix.


Martyn Crucefix has finished his careful reading of the poems and has chosen twenty poems for the anthology.  Read the top three here followed by a full list of poets to be included in the anthology. A report from Martyn will follow.

All poets included will receive complimentary copies of the anthology and the top three will receive cash prizes of £250, £100 and £50 respectively.



[i.m. Sgt John Lansdell, shot down in his Hurricane on 17th September 1940]

Somewhere, some distant relative

is nurturing her family tree

with ‘information’ (‘photos would be brilliant!’)

and so we get the box out of the loft

and I am volunteered to scan

the contents of this dusty envelope.


Here’s the Loughborough College Group (John Lansdell

second row, end, right) and here

College Sunday 1936:

a casual group of friends taking the air

in mortar boards and gowns (I wonder

if they’re worn with pride, or does he think

he looks a twerp?  The faint smile tells us nothing.)


Bunny, Self & Norman on the promenade…

and here’s another – three men in a boat,

oars stowed, swigging from the bottle: lads…

and these the chaps in ‘D’ Flight: Freddie Poulter,

Johnny White, Self, Sticky Glew…


I’m focussing on ‘Self’ (that’s my name too),

stroking the touchpad, dragging him centre stage

(exit Sticky Glew screen right) and now

the cursor has him in its sights and…Zoom!


Enlargement fails to show me who he was:

it only amplifies the blur of years

that steals away his image – shows instead

the pixelated abstract of a man – then

nothing recognisable as human.


© Anthony Watts


1st Prize


Epic Fail


The pelicans in St James’ Park are preening

on their artificial rock, presenting pieces

of themselves for inspection – for instance, their wings

like clattering plates of armour. They rattle their sabre

bills against their chests, thereby sprinkling

a confetti of white and grey feathers

onto the island’s setting of luminous algae.

This could be the point to introduce

the peculiar legend of how they feed their young

on their own blood – which is another way

of saying that there is a rage in beauty, and,

indeed, a beauty in rage. But all of this

is as nothing when I consider the young men

who cross this park and arrive, it appears, in only

three types – the ones strolling hand-in-hand

with young women, knitting their fingers together

in a fidgety sort of cat’s cradle; then the ones

wearing suits with slightly loosened ties and an air

of fevered purpose; finally the ones in sportswear

who bounce from foot to foot like huffing gazelles;

all of them sheened in fine perspiration,

but only some with more or less convincing

beards. I’d like, you understand, to somehow

bring this back to the pelicans, sitting

on their haunches now in a post-preening

stupor. Occasional tourists trot to the shin-high

railing that circles the lake, holding up their cameras.

I see that the tourists are capturing the moment,

such as they can.



© David Clarke


2nd Prize


So No Longer will the Words it Speaks Inhibit

makes a way with the mouth  Sappho


Oh to forget this mouth – find another  – leave this mouth dribbling on the kerb on Saturday morning, go where the stall sellers sell anything and everything at the end near Lambeth Junction where the woman in the red sari strings up her elastic and silks, all very good prices for the discerning. She’s never without a mouth, competing with chicken legs, spinach and cheap cauliflowers. Her mouths, as good as any, priceless, all shapes and sizes, words spilling everywhere in the damp air. Forget the anorexic mouth that refuses cake, eats a bus ticket, forget the foul language mouth that breaks loose on the street corner, lurks for a bus near the man handing out brochures for the Brixton Academy, forget the candy floss mouth that sticks to children. Buy strawberry lips that hover round the bright red sari.


© Wendy French


3rd Prize


Highly Commended:


Heatwave Near Wisbech – Robin Muers

Crossing with the Ferryman – David Mark Williams

Toadsong – Rachael Clyne

In Place – Rachael Clyne

I is not always me – Afric McGinchey

Bread and Wine – Ama Bolton

In Black and White – Margaret Eddershaw


Plus ten more to be included in the anthology:


The Breathing Space  – Eileen Carney Hulme

The Work of Rain – Wendy French

Waiting for Insulin – Susan Latimer

Invigilation – Gwen Seabourne

Exchange – Margaret Eddershaw

Don’t Let Me Linger – David C. Johnson

A Glint of Childhood – Dorothy Baird

The White Shadow of death – Kaye Lee

The Gardener- Janice Windle

Pearl and Rogue go for a Ride – Pat Borthwick


Look out for Poetry Space Competition 2014 – in what will be our fifth year. Prizes will be the same. We shall open for entries in November and close June 30th 2014. Judge to be announced shortly.