Penelope Shuttle described the process as a “fascinating and educative experience” and went on to say that “reading the poems was exhilarating and often profoundly moving.”
The poems were judged anonymously, so the judges were excited to discover that they had chosen such an international shortlist with poets hailing from all over the world, as far afield as Christchurch (New Zealand), Lagos (Nigeria) and Florida (U.S.A) with plenty of poets from across the U.K. too and one of the shortlist a Morrab Library member from Penzance.
We thought we’d tell you a little bit more about the competition winning poets and also share clips of the poets reading their winning poems in their own voices at our hybrid event which took place at The Exchange in Penzance earlier this month.
Cornwall has been a major source of inspiration for Camilla’s writing, stemming from time spent over the years with family on both the north and south coasts of Cornwall. This was reflected in her winning poem and Katrina Naomi introduced the poem by saying: “This poem does some amazing things around love, around geology, around the days of the week. It makes me think of a week very differently to how I used to think of a week. There’s so much imagination. There’s a bit of Cornwall, alongside places all around the world in this poem. It’s very imaginative and shows real ambition. And for Penny and I, it was a clear winner”.
She began writing poetry in 2007 on retirement from being an NHS manager. Since then she has had individual poems published in poetry journals, organises an arts festival in Sussex and had her pamphlet Grapes in the Crater published in 2015. She is now working on her full collection.
Second prize was awarded to Marjory Woodfield from Christchurch New Zealand for her poem ‘Sails Catch the Wind’. You can read the poem here or watch Marjory read the poem here. As Marjory explained at the awards ceremony, the prompt for her poem was a bowl from a shipwreck with a gazelle on it which was found by the husband of her former landlady in Singapore, a shipwreck diver.
Penelope Shuttle introduced the poem at the event: “Here we have a lyric poem, beautiful and delicate as the Chinese porcelain, whose journey from raw clay to finished, painted bowl, is beautifully described. There’s a lost ship. There’s porcelain fished up from the sea. There’s the painted gazelles on the bowl. This poem […] conveys the vulnerability and beauty of the world and, by lovely implication, all of us here on earth”.
The third prize winner in the Patricia Eschen Prize for Poetry 2022 was Anna Remennik from California (U.S.A) for her poem ‘Kyiv, spring 1986’. You can read the poem here or watch Anna reading the poem aloud here.
Anna grew up in Soviet-era Kiev (now Kyiv, Ukraine) and is now a chemical engineer working in Silicon Valley. She enjoys writing poems about automatic titrators, technical supply chain processes, and occasionally even more fantastical things.
Anna added: “Although I wrote this poem a couple of years ago, it’s been especially in my mind with everything that’s going on currently”.
Penelope and Katrina were both truly “wowed” by the quality of the poems in the children’s category.
Penelope Shuttle said “The standard of the children’s poetry was exceptionally high. Well done all! And congratulations to the teachers for giving their students, however young, deep access to the imagination, and the power of articulation.”
The children’s competition received over 200 submissions and the judges were so impressed by the calibre of entries that they decided to appoint joint second and joint third prize winners, generously supported by the Dennis Myner Trust.
Dexter Warburton, aged 13, won second prize for her poem called ‘A Boy Talking To A Robot In The Future About Where He Lives’ which you can read here. Caterina Williams was awarded joint second prize for her poem ‘The Flow of Words’, which you can read here.
The judges loved the form of the joint third prize winner, 7 year old Ziva Patel’s poem, ‘Refugees’ which you can read here. 9 year old Benjamin Williams, younger brother of Caterina Williams, was the joint third prize winner for his poem ‘Nonsense Safari’ – the judges particularly loved the rhymes in this poem which you can read for yourself here.
You can read many the highly commended poems, in the adult’s and children’s category, on the website here.