Poetry Space Competition 2020 – results

I am delighted to be able to publish Bobby Parker’s report on Poetry Space Competition 2020 and to reveal our winners. Congratulations to all the top 20. I shall post again with the three top poems in full and some comments on these by Bobby.

Judge’s report

I think the best way for me to start this report for the Poetry Space competition 2020 should be to thank everyone who entered. In reading these poems, I found myself in a maelstrom of grief, pain and suffering that obviously cannot be compared to the lives lived behind them. There was humour too, and joy, but the overall feeling was one of longing for a happiness that often feels lost or too slippery to hold.

So to all who entered, I commend you for your bravery in committing to paper that which so many of us strive to keep hidden. Rest assured, the beauty and transcendence of your submissions not only overwhelmed me, it also taught me some valuable lessons in what it is to be human, and how we are to carry our heavy baggage of living into an increasingly uncertain future. Thank you, and please keep writing and sharing your wonderful work.

As for the prizewinners, I have to admit it was a tough call, made easier only by the manner of which my choices were made. By which I mean, no matter how technically brilliant or seemingly good a poem may be, the ultimate deciding factor will always be my own personal preference. And what can be easier than going with our instinct? Especially if that instinct has proven valuable in the past.

There was so much great work here to fall in love with, but in the end I had to stand by the poems that spoke to something in me that I barely understand, even though I trust it implicitly. I hope this gathering of poems helps in some way to give an example of the quality of writing that what was submitted and also the things that are currently influencing the common consciousness. Let these poems in. Let them heal, surprise and frighten us in equal measure. We are not alone. There are lighthouses here, someone is always tending to the lamps, and their stories are universal.

Bobby Parker, October 2020

1st:  An Axe – Fionn Creber

2nd : Nihilist: Gareth Roberts

3rd: The Laughing Buddhas: Greg Smith 


Highly Commended:

An Unexpected Bereavement: Fionn Creber

Moving Foster Homes Again, Yet I am Dead – Rosalie Alston

My Neighbour’s Brain- Marion Hobday

His Grandfather who Used to Address The Rain – Marion Hobday

Handiwork – Sharon Black

Choice Cuts – Colin Pink


Other shortlisted poems:

Neighbourhood Pyrotechnics – Lizzie Ballagher

Sitting Opposite the Wheelchair- Belinda Singleton

Fruit of her Womb- Naoise Gale

Bait – Gareth Roberts

Seeing Artemis- Tamsin Hopkins

Merdhil – Greg Smith

OCD- David Punter

In Praise of Zopiclone  Alison Love

We all fall down – Simon Alderwick

Radioactive – Alison Love

Mum- Angie Butler