I was pleased the wonderful poet Liz Berry picked out a poem I wrote for the Cafe Writers' Prize - a competition with almost 2000 entries.
I send out poems out to competitions here and there - if they are ready and the competition or judge draws me for some reason.
I also enter because they provide a much-needed financial boost to the coffers of poetry organisations, many of which are run on a shoestring and by love. It seems a nice way to keep the energy flowing.
I also enter because I need to earn a few £s to pay for a new laptop.  But it is also personal because I am ambitious about my writing and I want to take more risks in form and content. I want to reach further into that raw place where poems can come from. Competitions are a way of trying out poems without too much 'risk' I think - and the outlay is only small as I usually just send one poem.

Anyway my poem is about Snowdrops and called Fair Maids of February - that is one of many folk names for this beautiful early flower, along with Milk Flower. The botanical name for Snowdrops also references milk  - Galanthus.

There is a brave quality about snowdrops - the first 'spring' flowers of the new year. They also appear delicate but have a sort of defiant, waxen character so I imagined them as girls in white headscarves.

Liz said she "loved this wild, delicate little poem about snowdrops from first glance" which was "at once beautiful and troubling ... mixing the vulnerability of the small flower with the vulnerability of young women. The final stanza just floored me."

Here is a link to my poem and the others Liz picked out. I love the winning poem!  Thanks for reading and happy February -


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