In association with the SWINDON FESTIVAL of LITERATURE
Battered Moons Poetry Competition 2011
Organising and co-judging the second Battered Moon Poetry Competition has been a
rewarding challenge and a privilege. There were over 150 entries, encouraging for a
competition in just its second year and offering no cash prizes. It was possible only
because of the generous effort of its supporters: Matt Holland as Artswords
development worker and Director of the Swindon Festival of Literature, co-judge
Lesley Saunders, registrar and advisor Hilda Sheehan, Mark Stopforth in his arbitrator
role. To all of them my admiration and gratitude.
But the real headliners are the people who sent their poems. These are, ultimately,
what Battered Moons is all about. However isolated and lonely your word-craft may
appear, you belong in this creative community, and we wanted to hear your voice.
You proved determination and courage in sending your poems for us to consider and
made the effort worthwhile. Thank you.
Among in the poems submitted, there were those that caught our attention for their
accomplished style. They brought language alive, grabbed our attention, had resonance
and staying power, conjured intense, vivid scenes and drew the reader into their world.
Their flashes of insight, invention and know-how made them memorable and invited
the reader to come back to them. We would like to share them through the publication
of this booklet. The order of the winning poems follows a personal reflection of how
they work best as a sequence. I sought some contrast between one poem and the next.
Appearances lent itself to opening the series, with its slower pace and breathing
spaces, and a very suitable title. I aimed at an alternation of pulses and style that
moved towards the rhythmic buzz of The Honeysuckle Corridor of Certain Doom,
sensing their arrangement almost as a recital of chamber music.
Alongside the 7 winning poems you will find three by the people who were more
closely involved in the competition process. As poets, we would like to approach you
with a sample of our own work, rather than merely our names and credentials.
We look forward to hearing the winners read their poems at the Swindon Festival of
Literature, where we will also have the pleasure of listening to our guest poet Paul
Farley, a lecturer at Lancaster University and recipient of numerous awards and
recognitions, including the Arvon Poetry Competition, the Forward Poetry Prize for
Best First Collection, a Somerset Maugham Award, an Arts Council Writers' Award,
the Whitbread Poetry Award, was named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year
1999, and has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. To the Battered Moons Poetry
Competition winners, our warm congratulations and best wishes for their future work.
Cristina Newton, co- judge and organiser, April 2011