Here is the second instalment of the judges’ views on the listed poems which were performed in the Elwin Room on Saturday 26th September 2015.
Sara Cheesman : Finn’s Loft
Finn’s Loft was written at my sister’s house in Pembrokeshire as a late autumn gale raged outside. The judges said: This poem explores the liminal space between the safe and the wild, the real and the surreal, the interior and the exterior worlds, alternating its focus of attention to hold the reader fascinated throughout.
Rachael Clyne : Belvedere
The view from my back garden is itself, a prizewinner and I get to enjoy it every day. It has inspired several poems, including this one. The judges said: We really liked the way this poem makes use of all five senses and also its successful alliteration and surprising imagery.
Annemarie Cooper : January Afternoon
Annemarie Cooper has published two pamphlets. The latest in 2013 is ‘The Flight of Birds.’ She is from London. The judges said: This hymn in praise of winter is characterised by a particularly deft use of detail to create a an utterly convincing poetic space. We loved the movement within the poem and its joyful celebration of the drab. We also thought that the closing couplet was particularly strong.
Martyn Crucefix : The Humanist Tour Arrives in Ravenna
Ravenna is on the tourist trail around northern Italy because of the startlingly beautiful mosaics in its many churches. The mosaics are made up of tiny individual blocks of cut stone or glass called ‘tesserae’. The judges said: We loved the movement of this poem from its apparently unattractive opening subject to an ending that is full of beauty and mystery.
Claire Dyer : In Chinese
‘In Chinese the character for poetry is made of two parts’ is a poem about love and the loss of it and, I hope, a discussion on how the notions of ‘word’ (name) and ‘temple’ (worship) can be interchangeable.’ The Cafe judges said: We were very impressed by the way this poem created a synthesis between the delicate essence of Chinese poetry and the wilder narrative that lies underneath. We also liked the way the narrative is so cleverly threaded through the succession of striking, often unexpected images.