Traditional Publishing

International Poetry Competition

Ninth poetry competition winners

The Ninth International Poetry Competition closed on November 1, 2010. Deliberation over the final line-up of winners was long and hard, but by February 2011 the following successful entrants were announced:


Congratulations to Clare Ferguson-Walker, Carmarthen, who wins £500 for her poem "Amroth Revisited".

"I was born in Carmarthen West Wales in 1978, and still reside with my husband and children in the beautiful Welsh country side. For as long as I can remember I have loved writing, particularly poetry, and I won my first poetry competition when I was 18. I fell in love with the works of Emily Dickinson and John Donne whilst studying and would site both those poets as strong influences. I have yet to find another artistic outlet that allows the creator such open honesty or one that can deliver such a powerful impact in so concise a form.

I began teaching creative writing to adults several years ago, and am currently working on my first novel in between looking after my two young children, and one teenager."

Amroth Revisited

I remember you taking me to Amroth beach with Gran and Grandad swaddled like ancient toddlers. Me and Emily in the back aware of the tension
like a physical thing, an icy finger poking the belly. The sun would pacify it a little on impact, I remember the gaudy plastic enticing purchases for extra fun, the promise of fish and chips wafting in air borne vinegar and our hearts racing for starfish rock pools and decomposing jellyfish, milky and slashed.
Who would have thought that tension, would catapult me like a pebble outward, resentment like a hot coal driving a steam engine forward. Am I to be grateful?
As I drive back now with you the ancient toddler, unable to walk properly, the past seems to join the present for a second, two transparencies slipping over each other. I remember how Grandad smelt musty,and Gran’s skin, translucent with a shock of veins, networking. Their genes have journeyed into me via you and a frothy sea, salty and rich. The ebb and flow of the waves coming and going, erasing old footprints. As we look out at our beach, tension buried for the now, like we used to bury you, you ask if I remember coming here as a kid, I answer just “yes” as if the memory weren’t a castle built up in my being,
crafted from the sands of my life’s hourglass.

UK runner-up

Congratulations to Nicollette Foreman, of Chelmsford, Essex, who wins £100 for submitting the best runner-up entry from the United Kingdom with the poem "Art of Mind".

"I only started writing two years ago and within this time have had works published in six anthologies and also short-listed in the National Poetry Anthology and Sentinel Poetry Movement literary magazine. I love writing any genre of poetry and enjoy experimenting with different styles and hope for one day to have any anthology of my own."

Art of Mind

Hats hide the demons
eating my mind.
I cry, no-one hears.
I see potatoes as stars
touch the sun
and feel the blue.
I hear crimson skies calling.

You talk to invisible Gods so
why can’t you hear the colours
and fragrance of words,
the smell of night and day

I stroke fields and rivers
upon a foreign land.
My palette smiles
my brush sings
to no applause.

I dance in ribbons of rage
casting shadows on my blade.
Why can’t you hear the colours
and stench of my cries
yearning for colourless days.

US runner-up

Congratulations to Tori Grant Welhouse of Green Bay, Wisonsin, who wins $150 for entering the best runner-up poem from the United States, "The Theory of Cake".

The Theory of Cake

You are an occasion.
Cake, in fact.
All your ingredients –
flour, sugar,

the look in your eyes –
measured parts
of a sucrose destiny.
You have memorized

yourself: finding fate
in the small spaces,
blending eggs, milk,
the air around your edges,

pouring the light-haired
batter: a mix of heat, poise,
sodium bicarbonate.
You froth an alchemy

that swells, gilding
aroma, deep-seated
as hipbones. Your
surface splits joy.

There’s a sheen to you,
made for buttercream;
how you hide crust
with long-leg frosting.

You cube womanhood,
serving yourself up
with a party napkin –
thumbing the crumbs.

Special commendations

Ten special commendations go out to the following entrants (in no particular order):