Biscuit Poetry Challenge 2011
|Embarking from Port Ellen||Gordon Simms||France|
Gordon Simms was born in Bedfordshire. He has won a number of poetry competitions, an Arvon prize and is a finalist in Aesthetica Creative Works Annual 2011. His poetry has appeared in Envoi, The Interpreter's House, Other Poetry and The New Writer. He initiated the Segora writing competitions in 2007.
His website: Poetry Prose Plays.
(This list is in no particular order of merit)
|These Women I've Loved||Anita John||Penicuik, Scotland|
Anita John writes poetry and short fiction and is a long-term member of the Pentlands Writers Group. More of her work can be found on their website.
|Evening Hymn||Charles Evans||London|
Charles Evans was educated at Keele and Oxford, and is a retired Naval Officer and academic. He has held Research Fellowships from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, and has travelled widely in Russia. He is a Churchill Fellow and a Hawthornden Fellow. His poetry has appeared in a wide variety of journals.
David Ford was born in Devon and lives in East London. His work has been widely published in magazines and a pamphlet collection was published by the HappenStance Press in 2010.
|Your Hat||Carlotta Miller Johnson||Northumberland|
Carlotta Miller Johnson: Born in Wisconsin, lived and taught in Tanzania till 1975.
|Breakfasts||Connie Ramsay Bott||Worcestershire|
Connie Ramsay Bott grew up in Michigan but has lived in the UK for many years. Her poems and short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines. She teaches Creative Writing.
Louise Hislop is influenced by natural history, particularly geology, anthropology and biology, as well as by personal events. She is trying to identify all the species of bee in her garden while worrying that she is too obsessed by detail.
As a young singer, Kathleen Bainbridge shared bills with Pentangle and Lindisfarne. She was a teacher, then a Gestalt therapist, before retiring to Hexhamshire to read, write, make music and watch animals.
|Fifty Hectares||Greta Ross||Lincolnshire|
Greta Ross lives in Lincolnshire having retired from medical practice, and has somehow managed her split personality as a committed doctor and a committed poet. Apart from her life as a GP and paediatrician she worked many years in health projects in Russia and Eastern Europe and has used her experience in those countries to inform her poetry.
|Remembering Margaret||Jackie Hinden||Brighton, Sussex|
Jackie Hinden's published works include a number of short stories, many lyrics set to music, and the libretto of a children's operetta.
Eileen Sutherland is currently writing a book called Changing Gear about a cycle ride she did from the UK to Hotnitsa in Bulgaria in 2006. She is also interested in 'green' building and recently built a strawbale house. Eileen is married to Allan and she divides her time between Warkworth and Hotnitsa.
|So Long||Rosie Garland||Manchester|
Rosie Garland has an eclectic writing and performance history, from singer in Goth band The March Violets to burlesque performer Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen. She writes poetry and fiction and in 2010 she kicked cancer's arse.
|How To Stop Talking||Jenny Morris||Norfolk|
Jenny Morris writes poems and fiction. Her writing has won awards and been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her latest poetry collection is Lunatic Moon (Gatehouse Press).
|Twilight's Last Gleaming||Brian Walter Smith||Northumberland|
Brian Walter Smith lives in Hexham, Northumberland and after many happy hours composing poems, is delighted to have found some recognition of his artistic worth.
|Timeo Danaos||Phil Powley||Hampshire|
Phil Powley is a retired lecturer in French, living in Hampshire. He contracted the poetry virus 20 years ago and is still in its grip. His principle interests are walking, golfing, gardening and writing.
|Grandma's House||Geraldine Green||Cumbria|
Geraldine Green has had two collections published, recently completed her third and submitted a PhD in Creative Writing. Her poetry has been translated into German and Rumanian. She's read and been published in the UK, USA, Italy and Greece.
|The Countryside Inside Me||Nuri Rosegg||Oslo, Norway|
Nuri Rosegg is Norwegian and has studied Creative Writing at the Open University (UK). Her poems have received an award or been published in USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany and Japan.
|Care Manager||Isobel Thrilling||Essex|
Isobel Thrilling was born in Suffolk and raised in Yorkshire. Her latest book The Language Creatures is published by Shearman Books Ltd. She has performed her poems on radio and television and been included in many anthologies.
|Neighbours||Sue Vickerman||Bradford, W. Yorkshire|
Sue Vickerman is a previous Biscuit prizewinner, and her poems have appeared in The Rialto, The North, Stand, and Bridport's 2010 shortlist, as well as in her Biscuit collection, The social decline of the oystercatcher. Her novel Special Needs is out now with Cinnamon Press and another is well underway.
|Woman's Road||Linda Mills||Oregon, USA|
Linda Mills lives in Oregan, USA. Linda was born with less than 7% vision; words have always been her gateway to the universe. She has had poetry published in the US, England, Japan, and Taiwan in the past. Having recently retired she can once again focus on her poetry and her husband.
Our judge, Pippa Little, is herself a fine poet and Biscuit Poetry Prizewinner 2008. In addition to this, she says, she is proudest of having won an Eric Gregory Award; of being one of the editors of 'Writing Women' and that her first collection, 'The Spar Box', published by Vane Women, was a Poetry Book Society Choice. She says:
Opening the poem-crammed box file felt like being handed a sweetie jar with the instruction to 'dig in!' And dig in I did.
Thank you to all the poets who brought their work to this feast, particularly, of course, the winner with his lovely and wide-focussed evocation of an emigration. I was delighted with the sheer variety of all of the work and its very different viewpoints on the world. From the wilds of Oregon (A Woman's Road) to an English garden (Penstemon) I've been taken on a wonderful journey.
I wish all the poets well for their future writing and would like just to mention two poems which for me sum up the whole spirit behind this competition, the Chernobyl Children's Life Line: These Women I've Loved and Evening Hymn, both celebrations of love and hope: "don't mourn the day/sing/the evening".
Poets raise money for children of Chernobyl
A message from Brian Lister:
"70 blocs of poems were entered for this competition. At £10 per bloc this means the competition has raised £700 for the Chernobyl children's visit to Hexham, Northumberland. Mike Wilson, our typesetter, has donated a further £100; we therefore raised £800 to hand to the Hexham branch of the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline (CCLL), a national charity founded after the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear power station in 1986, to help fund a visit by children from Chernobyl to the north east of England.
"Thank you to all of the poets who entered this competition. Congratulations to the winner, Gordon Simms, who is offered the opportunity of having a collection of his poems published by Biscuit. Congratulations also go to the 19 runners up; their poems and Gordon's poem will be published in an anthology. Because this is a charity project there will be no cash prizes. All of the 'top twenty' poets are invited to read their poems at the Biscuit Celebratory Event to be held on 22nd September 2011 at the Literary and Philosophical Society (aka the Lit & Phil) in Newcastle upon Tyne. (Oscar Wilde was there!)
"Heartfelt commiserations go to those 'Fifty Fine Poets' who didn't make the cut this time. If you are one of those poets, please be assured that your poems were all carefully read, greatly admired and enjoyed by Pippa Little as judge, and by myself (after the judging!). Thank you - all of you - for the pleasure of the reading; your poems have touched and improved our lives and the lives of others.
"On the 28th June twelve children from Belarus will arrive in Hexham. They will be met by host families, paired off, and each pair will spend two weeks with a host family, then after two weeks there will be a switch around and they will stay a further two weeks with a different host family. They will all be treated to four whole weeks packed with trips around the region, each day beginning with the collection of a huge box of fresh fruit donated by Stobo's shop in Wylam. The children will visit Nike where they will be fitted with natty training shoes, then begin a whirlwind of daily activities ranging from a manicure to a visit to the magical but real Alnwick Castle in Northumberland where Harry Potter scenes were filmed - flying broomsticks and all such stuff-of-dreams. I am their driver for the fourth week and can hardly contain my excitement. But I will try!"
Biscuit's regular printing firm, Jasprint will print 100 books free of charge; Cornwell Internet (our website managing company) is giving its services free towards setting up the website and e-commerce page; Mike Wilson (Free Spirit of Bridlington) is typesetting the book for free.
Visit the CCLL website for more information.