Tag Archives: Battered Moons

The one that didn’t get away

8 Oct

Ken Evans.jpg

Ken Evans – 2016 Battered Moons Competition Winner

I am the wastepaper basket under the desk of a tired poetry competition judge and I’m full.

I’m waiting for the black bag to come again to release me from this heavy weight of 40% hope and 60% despair that has me brimming over. 

But this time it’s different, I can sense a poem being uncrumpled, flattened out and reconsidered.

It is, of course, the winning poem and I am glad to give back for once.

Daljit Nagra hasn’t got to where he’s got to without being a disarmingly honest and funny bloke. Continue reading

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Is this how God felt? Battered Moons and Pascale Petit at Poetry Swindon Festival

4 Oct

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“I’ve judged a lot of competitions,” said Battered Moons poetry competition judge, Pascale Petit, “and this was of the highest standard.” Big praise at the Battered Moons finale, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery part of the Poetry Swindon Festival, coming from this year’s chair of the judging panel for the TS Elliot prize.

700 entries this year. The seven winners must be well pleased with themselves. Cristina Newton, co-judge and organiser, said, “You don’t know how happy you [poets] made my summer…and so challenging.”

Here are the poems and comments, summarised Robert Vas Dias, parataxis-style*: Continue reading

Battered Moons at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

7 Oct

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This year’s poetry competition didn’t quite go to the moon and back but they certainly made it to the other side of the world.

Judges David Morley and Cristina Navazo-Eguia Newton both took the entries on their travels. On the plane to Australia, David shared the poems around the passengers and asked them to read the poems aloud. Cristina took hers to her native Spain.

A good proportion of the winning pieces were about birds. “I’ve got a feeling some of the entrants researched my interests,” remarked David who’s into ornithology. Continue reading

Remembering Poetry Aloud at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

2 Oct

Today is National Poetry Day and the theme is ‘remember’. It’s also the start of the third Swindon Festival of Poetry.

The first event was Poetry Aloud at Swindon Central Library, where an eclectic bunch of talented poets – from first time to professional – read in an open mic format.

And – to celebrate – what better way than with a poem about the first event? (Okay a good poem would be better)

Remembering Poetry Aloud

Children bring Wilfred back to life,
David tearfully remembers his wife.
The Heavy Brigade charges to car horns
Before windows are closed with an ongoing drone
While Chaucer READS LAURIE LEE POEMS. Continue reading

The poetry of battered moons

12 May

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Swindon’s poetry competition, just turned national, attracted 300 entries. And has a great title.

Winners and commendeds came from across the country to the celebratory event at the Swindon Festival of Literature last night, held at the Swindon Art Gallery and Museum. It was judged and special guested by well-regarded poet Michael Symmons Roberts, with lovely Spanish guitaring by Robert Jacks and uplifting songs by Serene Boulton…

But…

It was all just a bit, well, quiet.

I don’t know. I like a bit of showbiz. Not the silly extremes of vote-athons like X Factor where they take 5 minutes and an ad break to reveal the winners. But, more of a performance. More anticipation. More excitement. Continue reading