I had some good poetry news this week, after learning I was one of ten finalists in a poem-on-a-beermat competition, on the theme of light.
The competition was run by the Bradford on Avon arts festival, and the ten poems are now out in the world on hundreds of beermats in pubs around Wiltshire. I wonder what the punters will make of them!
I'm always excited by any opportunity to take poetry out from the page and into the real world - on the sides of buses, in waiting rooms, or even dropped from the sky. Sadly, much new poetry is only read by practising poets, and that is a loss for the wider reading public who can be intimidated by the form.
I was pleased to be in the company of some beautiful poems, which work with the idea of light on many levels.
My poem (they had to be 12 lines max) was inspired by walks along the edges of the Thames at Greenwich, when the tide is out. There's a lovely fresh, riverish smell and the shoreline is always full of interesting, not very savoury things such as animal bones, odd sandals and egg sacs.

Below is a link to the competition website - you can read all the poems and judge's comments.
There's also a interesting blog post by the poet Josephine Corcoran which is worth a read.

And here, in an act of self-promotion, is what the judge, poet Martin Malone, said of mine:

‘Riverside’ – This poem was on my shortlist from very early on. It has real movement and a graceful development throughout, towards that last clinching stanza. The pacing and rhythm cleverly mimics the poems movement from the solidity of the seashore with its ephemeral detritus to the more fluid ebb-and-flow of the sea ‘stitched with light’. Marvellous.

Cheers Martin. Now, where did I put that beer?


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