Winners! July/August Readers’ and Editor’s Choice Poems

Delighted to announce that the winner of the July/August poll for the Readers’ Choice Award is the indefatigable Carole Bromley. A mug of happiness will be on its way to her shortly.

Afterwards – by Carole Bromley

The Editor’s Choice Poem is:

The Box – by Stuart Pickford

selected by Keith Hutson who said:

I felt privileged to be asked to judge this competition, thinking Twenty poems? That can’t be too difficult. How wrong I was. Each of the poems I read seemed markedly different from the others, not only in terms of subject-matter, but also style and treatment.

As co-editor of Poetry Salzburg Review, I read thousands of poems each year. What do I look for, what initial quality, to prompt me to give the poem a second and third reading? Well, I have to say, I do have a liking for poems that tend to say look at that, rather than look at me. I feel contemporary poetry is in danger of becoming somewhat swamped with introspection.

I prefer poems that use words with respectful economy, poems that are lyrical, not too long, have no truck with preamble, and possess a lightness of touch. Good writing is supposed to cleanse the windows of perception, isn’t it? So I like poems that make me look closer at a particular thing, with splendid imagery, but also with the feeling they are transcending their images and reaching out to me. I also like poems that celebrate, particularly when such celebration is charged with depth.

The above goes some way to explaining why I picked The Box as my winner. I like the amount of detail packed into each sort couplet. There is also a briskness combined with gentleness in these lines, and the narrative unfolds like the box to reveal the moving and heartfelt metaphor the poem expresses so deftly. I felt fed, fulfilled, by this poem, and the final couplet is terrific. Congratulations to the writer.”

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