Thank you Katrina Naomi for choosing my poem Framed Woman as joint-runner up in this year’s Poetry Society Stanza Competition. The poem was inspired by an Edward Hopper painting used as a prompt at Poetry Kit’s on-line ekphrastic poetry course, then polished to betterment following feedback from the Brighton Stanza Group. Yes, many hands make light work!
Katrina chose a rich variety of interpretations on this year’s competition theme ‘Choice’. My poem focuses on a woman trying to move out of a claustrophobic relationship. The possibility of choice comes to her as “a tendril unlaces in the white hot sun.”
You can read Framed Woman, together with the winning poem (Sarah Wimbush’s Blood Sugar), joint runner-up Liz McPherson’s Outsider, and the ten commended poems by Julian Bishop, David Bleiman, Partridge Boswell, David Bundred, Sue Burge, Virginia Griem, Sue Norton, Michael Saunderson, Michael Shann and Paul Wellby, by clicking on this link: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/membership/poetry-society-stanzas/competition/
Stanza groups exist all over the UK (and even abroad). Everyone is welcome to attend, share their work, feedback on other people’s poetry. Some Stanzas hold organised public readings, publish anthologies, run workshops – the sky’s the limit. Check the Poetry Society website for details of your nearest group.
Nature is never far away in my poetry, so it felt really special to have a poem included in the poetry and flash fiction anthology Awakenings, published online by The Sussex Wildlife Trust.
It’s the brainchild of Lucy Townsend, who approached the Trust with the idea as a way to celebrate its 60th anniversary. You can read it all for free at: https://sussexwildlifetrust.org.uk/awakenings
It’s great that organisations are increasingly including poetry in their communications with the general public. Every poem that reaches new constituencies is to be especially celebrated.
Living down here in Brighton, the South Downs are a big part of my life. The Brighton Downs Alliance now includes a poetry/flash section on their website. Check out Chalk It Up for my poem On Beacon Hill and 15 other snapshots of downland life at: https://www.brightondownsalliance.org.uk/chalk-it-up.html