Buxton Poetry Competition Winners Announced

Date posted: 8 July 2010

The University of Derby and the Buxton Festival are pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Buxton Poetry Competition, which had the theme Breath of Fresh Air.

In total 424 entries were received, and the winning poem, announced last night (July 7) at the opening of the exhibition in the Dome of the University's Buxton Campus, was The Appointment by Maggie Spooner.

Maggie, from Wilmslow said: "I am really pleased and very surprised to win the competition. The poem was inspired by a time when I was visiting hospital frequently for appointments; it just came together from those experiences and my love of writing."  

This year Ann Sansom, who has published six collections of poetry, most recently In Praise of Men & Other People, and Peter Sansom, who has been a Fellow in Poetry at both the University of Leeds and the University of Manchester, and Company Poet for Marks & Spencer and the Prudential,  judged the entries.

Ann said: "We enjoyed reading the entries, and were impressed by the way that people interpreted the theme. So many writers took Breath of Fresh Air as an opportunity to speak honestly. Some celebrated a first breath, and some a last. We felt that the shortlisted entries were serious and well-managed poems that genuinely needed to be written."

There were also more than 250 entries in the Children and Young People's element of the Poetry Competition, which was  judged by Dr Teresa Barnard, Lecturer in English at the University of Derby,  and Maria Carnegie,  Learning and IT Services Manager at the University of Derby Buxton.

In the Children's Category first prize went to Lauren Dowling (age 11) for her poem Wind in the Willows, second prize went to Harry Nickless (age 10) and third prize to Leyla Mason (age 11).

In the Young People's category (12 - 18 year old) first prize went to Anna Tindall (age 14) for her poem, Good Country Air. Second prize went to Ellie Hendricks (age 13) and third prize to Sumana Bagum (age 18).

And in the Barnardo's Category, first prize went to Ashraf Youssef (age 16) for his poem A Breath of Fresh Air.

Dr Teresa Barnard said: "This year, there was an even greater response to the Children's Category and, once again, with so many imaginative and cleverly crafted poems, it was difficult to choose a winner.

"Lauren's winning poem is outstanding, particularly for its seemingly simple structure that contains complex imagery, language and a precise rhyme scheme.

"Her overall theme is both inventive and relevant and she draws her readers in to engage with her imaginative response. The runners up have produced original work of a very high quality.

"In the Young People's category, again there was a fantastic response from many talented young writers. Several of the young poets expressed their views on wider contemporary issues, such as politics and ecology, as well as their thoughts on the concerns that affect them personally.

"The winning poem in the Young People's Catergory, by Anna Tindall was truly a 'breath of fresh air' in her reversal of the typical theme of the delights of the countryside. Instead, she expresses the idea of city life as her ideal. Written with both humour and passion, it is well deserving of first prize.

"Finally, in the Barnardo's Category, Ashraf deserves a special mention for his cleverly constructed and inventive acrostic style poem. This demonstates a combination of skill and imagination, altogether a worthy winner."

The 15 finalists' poems and the winners of the Children's and Young People's categories are now on display in an exhibition at the Dome which runs until July 25 2010, and is open to the public

The Buxton Poetry Competition is proud to continue to work with our esteemed Patrons Sir Andrew Motion and Lady Jasmine Cavendish.

For more information about this news release, contact Press & PR Officer Joanna Colburn on 01332 593004 or 07909 533242 email j.colburn@derby.ac.uk

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