Thursday, 3 January 2013


Happy New Year to everyone.

Battered Moons Poetry Competition has now a new space at

This year's guest judge is Alice Oswald.

Alice Oswald and Cristina Newton will be reading all the poems. Please follow the link above for more information and to enter.

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Battered Moons event during the Swindon Festival of Literature on Friday 11th May came and went, leaving a trail of good poetry and music.

From here I would like to express my gratitude to our guest poet and finals judge Michael Symmons Roberts, to the winning and commended poets, the fantastic audience, Matt Holland and Hilda Sheehan, and our helpers Michael Scott, George and Miranda.

Dear poets: your beautiful readings were a gift. You've made all the work worthwhile. And your names read like a poem:



& Deakin.

Michael Symmons Roberts had us all pinned down in a trance with his powerful poetry. Among the celebrated poets I have had the pleasure to meet, he certainly stands out for his friendly, approachable manner and his good judgement and professionalism. It has been an honour to work with him.

To Robert Jack and Serene Boulton: your music turned the event into a feast.

Special thanks to Paul at the  Swindon Museum and Art Gallery for being there and for his effort to provide all the props needed.

Our thanks to Artswords Swindon, Arts Council England and Swindon Festival of Literature for funding and support.

Let's do it again.

The Battered Moons Poetry Pamphlet is now available on request via email to  and the poems can be read on The Poets' Page.

Thursday, 26 April 2012


Good news for Battered Moons

Michael Symmons Roberts has now announced the three winners and four commended poets of Battered Moons 2012.

Join us to at the Battered Moons Poetry competition event for live readings by the winners and commended poets, as well as the judges, Michael Symmons Roberts and Cristina Newton. The event will take place as part of the Swindon Festival of Literature on Friday 11th May at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road, Swindon (Tel. 01793 466556). The Battered Moons 2012 pamphlet will be available from 11th May directly at the Battered Moons event or through this site.

Our congratulations to all seven and thanks to all those who submitted their poems and followed the competition. The high standard and variety of the submissions made it quite a challenge to select the finalists, but at te same time it is a testimony to the merit of so many poets in Britain today.

First Prize: Frances Galleymore for her poem My Father Travelled.
Second Prize: John Richardson for enfilade.
Third Prize: NJ Hynes for On Wednesday.

David Lukens for In Transit.
Euan Tait for Trauermusik for James Bubear.
Wendy Klein for The Natural History Museum of Ulaan Bataar.
Julia Deakin for Eleven Wonders.

Friday, 16 March 2012


Thank you to all who have entered Battered Moons Poetry Competition. It has been a joy to receive so many and such good poems from all over UK.

The preliminary phase is complete and our finals judge Michael Symmons Roberts will now go on to decide the seven finalists, who will be contacted by the end of April and invited to read their poems at the Swindon Festival of Literature, 11th May. For more on the Festival and the Battered Moons event, follow, where a full programme will be available from 21st March.

As well as the three winners and four commendations, the Battered Moons event will feature readings by Michael Symmons Roberts and Cristina Newton. We will celebrate our winners to the music artistry of guitarist Robert Jack and singer-songwriter Serene Boulton performing her songs to the mesmerising sounds of her electric piano.

Come and join us at a Festival renowned for its friendliness as much as for its surprises.

Sunday, 18 December 2011



Michael was born in 1963 in Preston, Lancashire, UK.

His poetry has won the Whitbread Poetry Award, and been shortlisted for the Griffin International Poetry Prize, the Forward Prize, and twice for the T.S. Eliot Prize. He has received major awards from the Arts Council and the Society of Authors.

His continuing collaboration with composer James MacMillan has led to two BBC Proms choral commissions, song cycles, music theatre works and operas for the Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera. Their WNO commission – ‘The Sacrifice’ – won the RPS Award for opera.

His broadcast work includes ‘A Fearful Symmetry’ - for Radio 4 - which won the Sandford St Martin Prize, and ‘Last Words’ commissioned by Radio 4 to mark the first anniversary of 9/11.

He has published two novels, and is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Preliminary judge: Cristina Newton.

1st Prize £300
2nd Prize £150
3rd Prize £75
Four commendations (no cash prizes)
All three winning poems and four commendations will appear in the Battered Moons Poetry Pamphlet 2012
Each poem submitted costs £3, or £10 for 4 entries.
Postal entries should be sent to: Swindon Festival of Literature,Lower Shaw Farm, Shaw, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 5PJ with a cheque payable to Swindon Festival of Literature, or enter and pay online. Please write your name and phone number on the back of cheques.
~ Open to any UK residents aged 18 or over at the time of entering.
~ The closing date is 29th February 2012.
~ There is no limit on the number of entries a single entrant can make.
~ All entries will be considered anonymously. Michael Robert Symmons will then select the winners from the shortlisted poems. Preliminary judge Cristina Newton will read all the entries.
~ Postal entries will only be accepted when accompanied by an entry form (forms may be photocopied) and payment. One entry form may cover multiple entries.
~ Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy.
~ Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
~ Fees cannot be refunded.
~ If you would like confirmation that your postal entry has been received, please include a stamped addressed envelope/postcard marked ACKNOWLEDGEMENT with your entry.
~ Online entries made via the website will receive automatic confirmation at the time of submission.
~ The staff are unable to confirm the content of documents submitted online, so please ensure you send the correct file.
~ The competition organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not award prizes if, in the judges' opinion, such an action is justified.
~ The judges' decision is final and neither the judges nor staff will enter into any correspondence.
~ Entry implies acceptance of all the rules. Failure to comply with the entry requirements will result in disqualification.
~ Results: All email entrants will receive an email notification of results. To receive a print version, enclose a stamped addressed envelope marked 'RESULTS'. Alternatively, check the website or for details after May 2012.
~ All poems must have a title and must not exceed 40 lines in length (excluding title and line spaces).
~ Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title.
~ Entries must be written in English and the original work of the entrant.
~ Entries can be on any subject.
~ Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website or broadcast before May 2012.
~ Handwritten entries cannot be accepted. Entries should be typed in black ink on A4 paper. Poems may span two securely stapled pages but pages must not be printed double sided. Please do not staple separate

~ Winners and commendations will be notified by 27th April 2012 and invited to an award ceremony at the Swindon Festival of Literature on 11th May 2012 where they will read their winning poems.
~ Prize winning poems and four commendations will appear in the Battered Moons Poetry Pamphlet together with a poem by each of the judges.
~ All winners will be asked to provide a biography and photograph that will appear with their winning poem on the Battered Moons website and pamphlet.
~ The list of prizewinners will be displayed on the website after the prize-giving ceremony at the Swindon Festival of Literature on 11th May 2012.
~ The copyright of each poem remains with the author. However, authors of the winning and commended poems, by entering the competition, grant Battered Moons the right to publish and/or broadcast their poem from May 2012.

Monday, 7 November 2011

2011 Winners

Gavin Salisbury

Gavin Salisbury's publications include: Gravity's End (Hilltop Press, 1997), Europa (Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2004) and The Mouths That Remain (Sam’s Dot Publishing, 2007), all chapbooks of ‘speculative’ poetry; Virtual Landmarks (Flarestack Publishing, 2004), a collection of ‘mainstream’ poetry; and Foreign Parts (D Press, 2004), a chapbook collection of short stories. His first full-length collection of short stories, The Far Sense, appeared from Sam's Dot in October 2010. A science-fiction novella, Junction 5, appeared recently in the anthology Panverse Three from Panverse Publishing. Gavin is currently aiming to write more poetry, having concentrated on fiction over the last few years.

For more information on Gavin’s writing, art and music, please visit his website at


Elinor Brooks

Elinor Brooks grew up in Edinburgh and now lives in Wiltshire. She studied at York University and teaches English and Creative Writing in a college of FE. Her poems have won several prizes and have appeared in anthologies, on the Big Screen and even on an adshel. This year she was accepted as a 'fledgling' member of the national network of women poets, 'Word Birds'. As an active member of Swindon’s BlueGate Poets, Elinor has enjoyed writing in collaborative projects with local artists and musicians. She recently read at Cheltenham Poetry Festival alongside Mimi Khalvati, as part of Blue Gate's Travellers Without Baggage performance. A recurrent theme in her poems is the imprint left in places by events that have happened there. Since being widowed, she has also explored themes of loss, bereavement and continuity.

A few of her poems can be read at
Janice Booth

I’ve been involved in lecturing and practising Chinese medicine for the last 22 years and its underlying philosophy is often a prompt to my creativity. I also draw on family memories of growing up in East Anglia, trying painstakingly to capture those evasive memories and moments in time and thereby make them endure! And whilst I like to make harmony and order, the words I choose often touch the unruliness of emotion, the impossibility of stemming the flow of time.
Becoming a member of the Swindon Bluegate poetry group has proved an invaluable stimulus and support to my writing over the last 12 months.


Heather O'Neill


Michael Scott

Michael is a poet from Swindon and he knows it. Hear it in his own words: "I am a writer and poet from Swindon. I have performed all over the country but some of my favorite places are ;

Swindon Arts Centre
Hebden Bridge
Cheltenham Poetry Cafe
Poetry Cafe Covent Garden
Corsham Pound Arts Centre
Reading Poetry Cafe

I have run adult poetry workshops in Swindon and Bristol and work as a Koestler Trust mentor enabling a recently released offender to access local arts organisations and events. In 2011, I co-edited Domestic Cherry, a new women's poetry annual. I am also co-editing the 2012 Domestic Cherry and its brother title Builders Tea.

In 1964 I was born, some of my poems are about this
in 1999 I spent 6 months in rehab, some of my poems are about this.
in 2000 I went to live in Peru, some of my poems are about this
in 2004 my son was born, some of my poems are about him
I think that poetry is for everyone not a snobby elite

I won the 2011 Battered Moons Poetry Prize
I was placed second in the Irish 'Poets Meet Painters' Competition in 2011

My first pamphlet called 'Sick of Ape' is available from my website at "


Linda Snell
Linda says: “I'm co-founder of Corsham Poetry Society, which runs monthly 'open mic' sessions.
I have had poems published in Envoi, Equinox, Iota, The Interpreter's House & Obsessed with Pipework.
I won the Wiltshire county poetry comp, and was short-listed in the Grace Dieu comp in 2010. This year I won the Calne literary poetry prize & was short-listed in the international Live Canon poetry comp.
Last year I organized a poetry reading in the Pound Arts Centre auditorium & was joint MC. And I have just MC'd the 'erotica' set in Swindon at an event run by BlueGate poets.
I am very much interested in the sound of the spoken word - & in the quality of the presentation given by the poet in a live arena”.