Poetry Space Competition 2017 – results

Judging is complete and all  winning and commended poets have been informed. 

Winning Poems

1st prize: Bumping into John Lennon   – Carole Bromley

2nd prize: Saltburn   – Carole Bromley                                    

3rd prize: Around the Edges – Eileen Carney Hulme


Commended Poems

Editing – Ama Bolton

Rebellion – Sue Wallace -Shaddad

After the flood – Liz Byrne

Navy blue sling-backs – Liz Byrne

Loose Thread – Maurice Franseschi

Moving On! – Angie Butler

Something about the way you named trees – Eileen Carney Hulme

Tumour – Anthony Watts

Disputation – Christopher Grogan

On your mind – Angie Butler

The Natural – Keith Hutson

Not As Planned – Dorothy Baird

I give up, I tell – Andrew Soye

Becoming a Sliver Moon – Carolyn O’Connell

Codes of Being – Greta Ross

Almost – Moira Andrew

Conversation – William Dixon


 Judge’s Report

Judging the Poetry Space Competition, 2017, was indeed a pleasure – and a challenge. After reading all the poems at least twice, initially, I divided them into three piles. After further readings, certain poems from the middle pile fought to join the first pile and sadly, some poems from that pile had to give way – a sort of literary cross-fertilization starting to take place! However, it must be said, that the winning three poems and, indeed, most of the listed commended poems held their position throughout the judging process. That said, it was very difficult, at times, to leave certain poems off the commended list that had singular virtues of their own.

I was also pleased to notice that the winning three poems, especially, displayed the qualities I was hoping to see and which I outlined in my pre-competition address. However, all the poems entered were worthy attempts. Many of them powerfully articulating universal themes of love and loss, tragedy and comedy. There were also poems that raged against the status quo and berated the establishment wonderfully. Perhaps the difference between the twenty poems selected and the ones that didn’t make the cut, so to speak, was that with the former poems more had been done to articulate, succinctly and economically, their chosen subject, comprising detail powerfully through individual form and conceit to deliver the poem successfully.

I offer my warmest congratulations to the three winners, the seventeen commended poets and, indeed, all who entered this year’s competition. 

Mike Di Placido.


 Here are the top three winning poems 


Bumping into John Lennon



The signature specs had gone,

he had that myopic, sore-eyed peer

all contact-lens wearers have.


He’d also ditched the white robes

and had a crew cut. I bought him a drink

and I think it was a relief to talk.


He told me Yoko had become a bit much,

that he couldn’t keep up all that showering.

She got the money. He started again,


took a City and Guilds in woodwork,

started a business doing sash windows.

He showed me the scar. A flesh wound.


He had an allotment, loved cycling,

would set off every Sunday at 5 a.m.

in fluorescent lycra.


Once or twice he crept into the back

of Macca’s concerts but, to be honest,

couldn’t take the hair dye, the terrible lyrics.


The last time I saw him

he was up a ladder fixing a pane,

whistling Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.


Carole Bromley

1st prize




August Bank Holiday and Elijah

wants to fly his kite, a red and yellow bird.

Plenty of wind and he soon gets the hang.

Run, says his dad, keep running

and he does. Running, running, afraid to stop,

towards Redcar and the steel works,

towards the town where his great great grandad

built the whole High Street,

and lived at no 129 from where

you could cut through to the beach

carrying a bucket for sea-coal.


But Elijah knows nothing of this.

To him, intent on keeping his kite aloft,

there’s only this running, running

away from the pier and the cliff lift

and the flapping windbreak,

away from the candy floss and ice cream,

away from the day trippers

towards the still winding gear

on his skinny, sparrow’s legs,

the great bird casting its shadow

over the long, ribbed sands.


Carole Bromley

2nd prize

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries for the Poetry Society. She has two pamphlets and three collections with Smith/Doorstop (A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and a new collection for children, Blast Off!). In 2018 she will be tutoring an Arvon course at Lumb Bank in June and also running a workshop for children and reading from Blast Off! at the Verve Poetry Festival in February.
She is thrilled to have won the Poetry Space competition.


Around the Edges


We name the pain as clouds, reference

good and bad days. I arrive with a DVD

and chocolate eclairs, tell you there

are swans in the sky, your response

nimbostratus, nothing fluffy about that.

We take the eclairs and you shuffle to

the coffee machine, longing for air, a soft

sea breeze, a curling cirrus. We settle

to watch Truly, Madly Deeply, laugh at

cloud-faces and dancing wooden spoons.

Before the ghosts depart you are asleep.

The doctor appears and I step out of

the room with the fragility of rain.


Eileen Carney Hulme

 3rd prize


Eileen Carney Hulme’s third collection of poetry, The Stone Messenger, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2015. She has been a winner in several competitions and her poems have appeared in many magazines, anthologies and internet poetry websites. She had a poem set to music by Mark Keane award winning director of Music at Tuam Cathedral, Co Galway and this was performed at The Cork International Choral Festival. She has two poems transcribed on to wall space in The Nicholson Art Gallery in Forres, Scotland and she was also their first Poet in Residence running various poetry events.



I was thrilled when Sue phoned to say I’d been placed and commended in this year’s competition. I’m grateful for all her hard work organising it and a big thank you to Mike Di Placido for choosing two of my poems, it’s truly heartening.