19th International Competition opens 1st November 2018
closes 31st March 2019
Prizes: Silver Wyvern category (open theme, any form, max 42 lines)€500
Formal poem category (open theme, max. 42 lines): €100 for traditional poetic forms: sonnet, sestina, villanelle etc
Best poem any category 'Spirit' theme (interpret freely) €100
Other prizes to winners present at awards
Entries & Fees: please note the suggested fees below. All fees are donations to the competition costs, organisation and events of Poetry on the Lake. However, if you genuinely can't afford the fee, send one poem for nothing (Those who can, please donate generously.)
DISCOUNT: early bird (enter before 31st December): £ 5 or € 8 a poem
UK: £10 first poem; further poems £6 each.
UK sterling cheques/BPOs only, payable to G. Griffin-Hall.
ROW: €15 first poem; 2 or more, €10 each. Pay Paypal*
Send two copies of each poem, one anonymous, the other with contact details (and, if applicable, Paypal ID number) on back, to
Poetry on the Lake - 28016 Isola San Giulio NO - Italy
ONLINE ENTRIES: UK/ROW
Pay Paypal*, note transaction ID, copy in body of email with contact details, subject of email 'Comp entry 2018' . Attach file/s with all poems preferably in one Word, .doc or .docx file (NOT pdf) named:
YOUR NAME COMP 2018, send to poetryonthelake AT yahoo.co.uk(close gaps and substitute @ for AT)
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Poems must not have been printed or published (including on internet magazines, but ok if only on a personal or friend's blog with restricted access), nor have won a previous prize.
Entrants must be over 16 years old on 1st January 2018. N.B.: Open category embraces all forms of poems providing they do not exceed 42 lines (title excluded); free verse, traditional or formal verse, short poems - anything goes! Formal category: traditional verse forms: sonnets, sestinas,ballads,haiku (up to five haiku on one page count as one entry) villanelles etc or your own rhyming or metrical scheme. NOT free verse and just dividing a free verse poem into couplets without a rhyming or metrical scheme doesn't make for a Formal poem,just as a poem of 14 lines without a traditional metre and rhyme scheme isn't a sonnet. guidelines:here
The judges' decision is final. Do not send SAE.
The same poem may be entered in two or more categories but will counts each time as a separate entry. A competitor may win 2 or 3 prizes, each in a different category, but no more than one prize in a single category,
Results on website June/July at latest, winners contacted earlier
Possible publication for winning and selected poems (we try to contact all authors first, although entry to the competition implies automatic permission to publish). Copyright remains with the author.
18th International Competition Results closed midnight 15th April 2018
SILVER WYVERN OPEN COMPETITION RESULTS
adjudicator Fred Johnston
Silver Wyvern 1st - My DawtieJane Burn , County Durham
2nd - Dartmoor SnowSarah Barr, Dorset
3rd - The Topiary of Passchendaele Village - Christopher North, Alicante, Spain
HC - The Hard Rules of SeawaterAbigail Ardelle Zammit, Lija, Malta
HC - For the MendingLani O' Hanlon, Sean Phobal, Ireland.
HC -Rock Garden at MidnightScott Elder, Saint Priest des Champs, France
THIS was my final shortlist – as you can see, 1,2,3 were selected from this. It was difficult to arrive at a shortlist, as overall, the quality and standard of the submitted poems was very high. It was clear even after a first reading that the authors were acquainted with poetry, that they knew the difference between poetry and prose, which is not always a predictable occurrence. I would certainly have to commend strongly the poems on the shortlist which were not eventually ‘placed.’ If one were editing a poetry journal, there could hardly be any objection to publishing these. In the end, however, a decision had to be reached.
Comments on the individual winning and shortlisted poems to follow.
* FORMAL category: max 40 lines for traditional set rhyme and/or metric patterns only Adjudicator Kevin Bailey, founder/editor HQ Poetry Magazine
1st - Anne Ballard, Edinburgh Aubade 2nd - Peter Duff, Co. Dublin If I don't burn HC - Peter Duff, Co.Dublin Sleep HC - Belinda Weir, Lancaster It's a wondeful life
HC - Janet Lees, Isle of Man Wake up and smell the coffee
* SHORT POEMS: max. 10 lines Adjudicator Kevin Bailey, founder/editor HQ Poetry Magazine
1st - Maggie Butt. London Now I must be 2nd - Natalie Whittaker, Kent Winter landscape with skaters HC - Ian Royce Chamberlain Certificate PG * CINEMA
1stThe Longest Day – Roger Elkin
2ndAt Bagno Vignoni – Sean Martin
HC -The Proposition, 1933 - Stephanie Green
Shortlisted (in random order) - On preparing to lie about 2001, A Space Odyssey - Rebecca Bilkau; On the screen – Jenna Plewes; Lyric – 2 shillings and nine pence - David Smith; The Alhambra Picture Palace- Susan Atkins; Breakfast with Bogart – Victor Tapner; Casablanca – Andrew Robinson; Before the Talkies – Gary Bills
Kevin Bailey said: there are three here that are of equal merit: The Longest Day, At Bagno Vignoni and The Proposition... and At Bagno Vignoni is good and cerebral... So I suppose, by a sliver I'd go for The Longest Day - a good clear poem and human... followed by At Bagno.
WINNING POEMS 2017
Silver Wyvern winner:Toby Campion, Leicester
When he called me a faggot
I did not blink
but my mouth filled with iron,
Grimsby’s chip cone and wooden forks,
rolling hills and land lock, call to prayer, seagull,
K-Swiss and Glenn’s and The Old Horse
and the tired tongue of the M69 and my overworked father,
funeral faces, steel cap, cousin’s knee, my broken nose
and the quarry and its chains and the ore it used to pour
over our Rice Crispies and Churchgate,
Maryland Chicken and free entry before 11
and bottles tossed into dancing crowds and lips
greeting glass with crimson splutterings of hallelujah
and Nickesh and me and Reece and me
and Reece’s broken tiara
and the 8:24 to Pendlebury Drive
and savages born of boredom, abandoned Co-ops
and Mecca Bingo, the graffiti on the back of our livers
and wash brook, mud dumps
and the boy who got snatched,
and a classroom in veiled in black lace, chewing gum
sticking eyelashes together and my hand on his leg
and keep your gaze forward lads
and his hand in my mouth
and or what or what or what
and my new friends said,
we have never see you like that before
and I said,
no, you have never seen me.
Ist Formal category: Deidre Parkes County Carlow Ireland
We found an unexploded mine that day
We found an unexploded mine that day and stared so much we let the ocean creep to wet our feet before we ran away.
How would it be if courage let us stay inside that story that wasn't ours to keep? We found an unexploded mine that day.
There was no one there to warn us, to say how cold the water was, how deep. We wet our feet before we ran away.
That debt of blood wasn’t ours to pay. We should have been at home in bed, asleep. We found an unexploded mine that day.
Older feet than ours were left in clay like fossil footsteps, frozen in mid leap. We wet our feet before we ran away.
The summer sky turned suddenly to grey. The country lanes turned desolate and steep. We found an unexploded mine that day and wet our feet before we ran away.
1st Short poems: Sharon Black, Gardoussel, France
To enter naked is to feel no shock, no swift laceration –
more a swallowing of the self, a softening
of edges by metallic tang and green.
It’s not to lose oneself but to find
one’s breasts, buttocks, sex
attentive and alive, each slow stroke upstream
a gift of walking to the part of us that’s lame,
a gift of sight to the part of us that’s blind.
17th Competition RESULTS Silver Wyvern adjudicator : Carol Ann Duffy Theme Metal
adjudicators: Formal - Kevin Bailey ; Short - Oz Hardwick
all 3 adjudicators read all poems in his or her category
SILVER WYVERN CATEGORY adjudicated by POET LAUREATE CAROL ANN DUFFY
1st& Silver Wyvern - When he called me a faggot - Toby Campion, Leicester
2nd - The Mechanics of Love - Victoria Gatehouse, Halifax
3rd - Metamorphic - Sally Douglas, Exeter
The Slave of Velazquez - Derek Sellen, Canterbury
The Regular Round - Helena Goddard, Tewkesbury
When the Rowan's Laden - Aileen Ballantyne Edinburgh
The woman who married an alchemist - Sarah Doyle London
Wheelbarrow - Sharon Black, Gardoussel, France
Aubade - Jeri Onitskansky, Barnet
Flame Test - Victoria Gatehouse, Halifax
FORMAL POEMS adjudicated by KEVIN BAILEY, founder and editor of HQ Poetry Magazine
1st - We found an unexploded mine that day. Deidre Parkes County Carlow, Ireland
2nd - God of Love. Brian Kirk Dublin Ireland
3rd - The Judge's Wife. Anne Ballard Edinburgh
HC - For my silent lover. Rebecca Farmer London
HC - Supercooling. Jennifer Sykriewicz Haxby, York
C - Another Time. Tim O’Leary London
C - Her Blanket. Adele Cordner Magor, Wales
C - From a cab, not upon Westminster Bridge. Patrick B. Osada Warfield
C - Stonehenge. M. Lee Alexander Williamsburg USA
C - For the day you turn to me and ask. NJ Hynes London
SHORT (10 lines or under) CATEGORY adjudicated by OZ HARDWICK, Professor of English at Leeds Trinty University
1st - River - Sharon Black Gardoussel, France
2nd - The Bomb Fell - Michael Swan, Oxford
HC - In the Bathroom Brian Clark York
HC - Monkeys –Fokkina McDonnel, Manchester
HC - Something Harmless is Wrong –Rebecca Titus, Baltimore USA
Kevin Bailey says of the Formal poems ( i.e. poems following set forms, traditional or modern):
“Well, the judging wasn't easy. The bulk of course can be dismissed as 'worthy' but not particularly original or inspiring. My criteria are very simple – the best poems endure in the mind. Finally it was the poem I remember, the one that leaves an echo the following day, that wins.”
Oz Hardwick says of the Short poems:
“I didn’t count them, but I guess there were around ninety or so poems in this category, which accounts for a lot of blank paper. So, the first question I asked of each poem was: does it sit there, minding its own business in the top left-hand corner, or does it spread out and make that sheet of paper its own? That’s what those little words do when they’re in just the right place, and maybe around a third of the submissions passed the audition after a few re-readings.
After a couple of weeks of travelling with this unruly little band, reading them in different places, at different times of the day or night, there were five that really settled down with me, often cropping up of their own accord when I wasn’t expecting them, long after I’d stopped reading. ‘In the Bathroom’ is a small monument, undemonstrative but solid, with very deep foundations; ‘Monkeys’ hold its pain inside, though you can read it in each small movement; ‘Something Harmless is Wrong’ pulls shapes from a dash and flourish. Ultimately, though, it came down to two completely contrasting poems. ‘The Bomb Fell’ is one of those poems that may initially be dismissed as ‘broken-up prose,’ yet is a perfect example of how far that is from the truth, with each line break exactly balanced to tip into the next for maximum effect.
In many ways, it’s impossible to compare the two, but it had to be done, and ‘River’ just came out on top. Bursting with sensory intensity, it is nonetheless beautifully controlled, focused, the negatives in the first line of each of the first stanzas moving into the almost meditational observation of self I those following, and finally resolving into the revelatory celebration of the final couplet. A wonderful example of what can be done with so few words when they’re the right words, in the right places.”
Winner: 212. The Star – Carolyn King, Isle of Wight
Mabel’s Strange Predicament – Michael Coy, Malaga, Spain and The star who fell to earth – Beverly Hughes, Cardiff, Wales
Shortlist (in random order):
The Way Down – Alison Absolute, Stratford-upon-Avon. Galileo Galilei – Carole Bromley, York. Trapped – Jenna Plewes, Alvechurch Abandoned – A.C. Clarke, Glasgow. How I Wonder What You Are – Michael Swan, Oxford. Orphic Sonnet: Breaking the Rules – Andrew Robinson, Truro. Astronomy – Michael Shann, London
Results Short poems category
Winner : Fire Pit – Sharon Black, Gardoussel, France
2nd Duality- Rachel Plummer, Edinburgh and 3rd Every Poet's Horoscope – Brian Clark, York
Short Listed: Neighbours - N.J. Hynes, London The Last Bus – Sean Burke, Milan
A Star is Born – Elisabeth Rowe, Devon
and Special Mention for comic verse, Psychoanalysis – Alison Absolute, Stratford-upon-Avon
XV International Competition for the Silver Wyvern : RESULTS
SILVER WYVERN to MICHAEL J WOODS
for his sonnet 'Cygnus'
OPEN category adjudicated by Robert Minhinnick
First: Paternal Relations by Anne Ballard, Hornsey
Second: Blackcurrants by Hilary Elfick, New Zealand
The Hunger – Rachel Plummer - Edinburgh
Leaving Gawdom by Night – Geraldine Clarkson, Leamington Spa
Long listed (in random order)
Dining with Father – Anne Ballard Coupe De Foudre – Natalie Holborow
The 9.20 to Edale – Rob Miles Small Hungers – Peter Mullineaux
La la la la etc – Peter Wyton Salsa – Alwyn Marriage
Tomato Soup – Michael Swan Meio, Ivy – Michael Swan In Their Turn – Michael Swan
Collective Works of Nature – Brian Clark The Inconstant Ones – Nancy Campbell
Rosemary Music Paper – Rosie Shepherd Balthazar Bakery – Rosie Shepherd
Christmas Eve – Isabel Bermudez La sobremesa – Isabel Bermudez
Sleeping Venus in Love – Abigail Ardelle Zammit Afflatus in my Home Town – Geraldine Clarkson
The Waiting – Seamus Harrington The Disposition of the Sun – Tim O’Leary
Revisiting Shelagh’s Way – Roger Elkin… Madame - Joan Michelson
Crumbs – Pat Borthwick Another night in…-Sam Clayden
Silk Road – Elisabeth Rowe Greek Salad – Josh Elroy Summer – Graham Burcell
SHORT POEM category Adjudicated by Kenneth Steven
1st : Military Section, Royal College of Surgeons - Aileen Ballantyne, Edinburgh
2nd : Applestar - Ann Drysdale Gwent HC Starfish - Rachel Plummer Edinburgh A hillside - Lizzie Fincham Brighton
Commended: The Road - Brian Clark York A Treat by the Dockyard - Kay Cotton, Villebaudon, France
FORMAL POEMS category adjudicated by Kevin Bailey
Ist : Opening Time - Michael J Woods Worcester 2nd: Granny Smith - June English, Kent
Highly Commended (in random order)
Things You Have Slaughtered - Virginia Astley Time and Place - Barry Tempest
Fare - John Gallas Papillon de Nuit – Elisabeth Sennitt Clough Mayan Statue – A.C. Clarke
Others in the final pile were Chinese Restaurant, Rome – Martin Bennett, - The Angel and the Saddlebacks - Anne Boileau; Losing Them – Anne Ballard; Bobby Sands’ Final Sonnet – Richard Westcott; Ancient Pestle - A.C. Clarke
XIV International Poetry Competition adjudicators: Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker
RESULTS: SONNET CATEGORY
adjudicated by Carol Ann Duffy
Ist to Virginia Astley, Dorchester for her poem Homecoming 2nd to Guy Russel, Milton Keynes, for From the Archipelago
Highly Commended: Rachel Plummer, Edinburgh, for Braid
listed (in random order)
Snow in October – Caroline Bostock; Perspectives double sonnet – Derek Sellen; No silver lining – Camilla Lambert;
Fog in the Dale –- Chris Considine; Swaledale snow – Chris Considine; Fountains Abbey – Francis Harris;
It never rained –Hugh Sullivan; Shopping List - Hazel Clark;
adjudicated by Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker
to Anne Stewart, Kent, for her poem Snow snow more cold lonely snow 2nd prize to Dorothy Yamamoto, Oxford for The Frost Fair
Highly Commended: Brigit Sivill, Normandy, for Variable weathers
& Rose Flint, Somerset, for Marking China Blue Commended: Thelma Laycock, Leedsfor Visits
& Chris Considine, Plymouth, for An Arc
Awards during the course of the XIV Celebration at Belgirate, Lake Maggiore 10th-12th October. Please see Festival page
Theme was 'Weather' “Poets are always taking the weather so personally.” J.D. Salinger
Poetry on the Lake XIII International Poetry Competition The awards were presented at Villa Carlotta, Belgirate, 12th October, by the Mayor of Belgirate and the Assessore Claudia Buscher.
Adjudicators: Anne-Marie Fyfe, Imtiaz Dharker, Kevin Bailey
OPEN CATEGORY (376 poems entered)
FIRST PRIZE:: The Aftermath Inspector - Clare Best, Lewes, Sussex
SECOND PRIZE:Census - Christopher North , Alicante, Spain
Devon Tin - Oz Hardwick, York; My Favourite Knife - H.V.Goddard , Tewkesbury
Morning Light - Wes Lee, Wellington, New Zealand, The Property - Jean Harrison, Settle.
A Roomful of Cupboards - Angela Croft, London; This Is What We Do - Michael Swan, Oxford;
Cutting The Pages - Kathleen Kummer, Totness; The Kitchen Cupboards - Gill Andrews , Edinburgh.
SHORT CATEGORY (138 poems entered)
FIRST PRIZE: Blind - Enda Coyle-Greene, Skerries, Ireland
SECOND PRIZE: The Peach Grower's Last Request - Susi Clare, Travedona Monate, Italy
The late air - Roberta James, London;Oh Careful, be Careful, Gill-Gallium - Diane E Cockburn, Durham;film - B.A.Morton, Jordanstown , N.Ireland
SHORTLISTED(in random order):
The Angel in My Underwear - Elaine Jarvest Miller ,Devon ;Silver bracelet - Faye Boland, Kenmare, Ireland; She is Mercury - Kate Dempsey,Maynooth, Ireland;A fine amalgam - Camilla Lambert , Arundel;A Tin of Powder - Marie Naughton , Manchester;Swift as Quicksilver - Anne Boileau, Coggeshall; Sidi Bou Said - Lavinia Currier, USA ;The Man who brought Copper and Gold - Susi Clare, Italy;Nightwind - Anthony Watts,Taunton; Repeatability -Heidi Williamson , UK; Gallipoli - Liz Thompson, Oxford;Pram fall - Mia Timberlake, South Australia; shoaElsa Fischer, Switzerland; The Blues harp - Fran Reader,Woodbridge;Fire and Tin - Wes Lee, New Zealand; Portrait of the Mother as a Blue Jug - Anna Kisby,Brighton;After a death: A tenderness of thought - Wes Lee, New Zealand;Flensed - Geraldine Mitchell, Ireland
FORMAL CATEGORY (124 poems entered)
FIRST PRIZE: Rigel Hill – William Gilson, Cumbria.
SECOND PRIZE: BZH400 – Peter Duff, Ireland.
The Golden Stairs – Sarah Doyle, London; Two birds for Kabir – Maitreyabandhu, London; John Keats’ Ring – Carole Bromley, York.
SHORTLISTED (in random order)
Special Mention to F&B – Carole Bromley,York; Hillside at Grizzana – Maitreyabandhu, London;Live fast, Die Young – Beverly Francis, Cardiff, Wales;Typeface Facelift – Lois Elaine Heckman, Milan, Italy; Ode to My Rhyming Dictionary - Chris O'Carroll, USA; The Smith’s Rejoinder to the Carpenter - Malcolm Watson, Hull;The Metal Detector - Hilary Elfick, Cambridge; A Visit to a Military Ward -Don Nixon, Albrighton; Spending Time – Peter Duff, Ireland;Tea Break with Tin Mug – Enda Coyle-Greene, Ireland
OPEN CATEGORY (272 entries)– adjudicator GILLIAN CLARKE
1st: Crows, Seaton Park – Wayne Price (Aberdeen) 2nd : Panther – Emma Harding
2nd: A Letter from the Master of His Majesty’s Ship The Tiger, Aleppo 1606 Sarah Doyle (London)
SHORT POEMS CATEGORY (148 entries)– adjudicator CHRISTOPHER NORTH
1st:Cows in the Ashmolean – Dorothy Yamamoto (Oxford) 2nd : The Bear – Katrina Naomi (London
Poetry on the Lake 11th International Competition 2011- RESULTS
SILVER WYVERN WINNER
The song of the woman who wanted a train
Diana Pooley, London
RUNNER-UP: Fossil record - Wayne Price, Aberdeen
COMMENDED Lithium lovesong - Lydia Macpherson, Babraham The Gift - Sharon Black, St André de Valborgne Black Book of Warwick – Lynne Wycherley, Kidlington Sold - Pat Borthwick, Kirby Underdale
WINNER: Inclined to envy woodlice – Chris Considine, Plymouth RUNNER-UP: Returning - Donna Pucciani, Illinois , USA
COMMENDED And then; Gill McEvoy - Chester The place of stones - Tim O’Leary - London
Agata and aphrodisiac - Derek Sellen, Canterbury
The vixen - Susi Clare, Travedona Monate
WINNER: Laying the foundation stone - Don Nixon, Albrighton
RUNNER-UP: Terra - Anne Ballard, Hornsey
COMMENDED Innocents awhirl - Mira Mehta, London
A black-suited revolution - Peter Goulding, Dublin
New Year - A C Clarke, Glasgow
Days like trees - Polly Walshe, Oxford
YOUNG WYVERN (only for 2011)
we had no section for young poets but there were a number of under 16's who submitted poems to the main competition. So we decided to treat and judge them separately. We shall not accept entries from under 16s in 2012.
winner: Lamorna Tregenza-Reid (age 10) with 'Her Thinking Hand'
Panel of adjudicators:
Don Paterson chose the winners of all three categories from lists drawn up by Anne Stewart and Oz Hardwick.
Results of competition 2010
adjudicators: James Harpur, Carole Baldock, Kevin Bailey
The Awards were presented by H.M. Consul General Dr Laurence Bristow-Smith
on Saturday, 2nd October, in Sala Tallone, Isola San Giulio
during the course of the 10th International Poetry Celebration 1st-3rd October
Prizewinners who come in person also received, besides the cash prize, an object of design 'La stanza dello sciricco' awarded by Alessi
Silver Wyvern 2010
A Roman slave reflects on inevitability - Emma Harding,
Archetypes - Lucius Redman
An Ex Pat's Mediterranean Retirement Diary& The Hospice at Cannes - Don Nixon
'From the Lake-side', writing on Lake Orta: won by D.M. Thomas with 'Singing Along'