2023 Poetry competition: results

Thank you to all the wonderful poets who submitted entries to our 2023 poetry competitions in celebration of  the long tradition of poetry in mid-Wales.  We had nearly 130 entries from as far afield as Shetland, France, Northern and the Irish Republic, the USA, Australia and New Zealand – as well as England, Scotland and of course Wales itself.  We found reading the entries as they came in inspiring, in many different ways.  And the judges have done the competitors proud.  Vernon Jones, who decided the Welsh language competition, noted that it was a close one.  Cyril Jones and Julie Brominicks, who judged the English language poetry prize, commented:

“We were looking for form and skill as well as strong imagery, and this is reflected in our choice of winners.

Some strong themes emerged from the poems – love, loss, grief, belonging, language and the passing of time. Some captured the landscape in a general way. Many demonstrated why for so many of us, landscape is a source of hope and solace, and something to which we have very personal connections – demonstrating why land use is so passionately debated. The entries also reveal the power of poetry to allow otherwise quiet voices to be heard. By listening to each other in this way, we respect that our differing opinions come from deep wells of emotion. In this way, poetry can take the shoutiness out of debate. ”

Prize giving event on 2 March 2024

We will be holding a prize-giving and discussion of poetry and the uplands with some of the winners and two of the judges on 2 March, in the Library at Neuadd Pantyfadwen, Pontrhydfendigaid.  The event will run from 3-6pm.  All are welcome.  Entrance is free; £1 for tea and cakes.

Prize winners and shortlist

Cambrian Mountains Poetry Competition:

Best Welsh poem

Both first and second prizes are awarded to Mari Tudor of Y Bala, for her poems

First prize: Rhyfeddod yr Ucheldir

Second prize: Sylweddoli

Best English poem

First prize: Kristen Mears, for her poem Traces

Second prize: John Gallas, for his poem above it all: dangerous vision

Mid-Wales Poetry Competition:

This competition was for the best poem (not winning any of the above prizes) from a contributor resident in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion or Powys.

First prize: Jemma King of Llandinam, for her poem The Valley 

Second prize: Gareth Writer-Davies of Pencelli, for his poem Red Flags

Highly Commended poems:

A Priest and a Peasant – Rachael Salmon, Shrewsbury

Ascent – Kevin Saving, Shetland

Cliff Face – Kristen Mears, Guildford

Crib Goch – Estelle Price, St Albans

Day trip to the Mountains – Marcelle Newbold, Cardiff

Lost – Brian Davies, Swansea

The Coffin Road – Susie Wilson, Sheffield

Ucheldir – Miss H M Roberts, Cardiff

Wrinkled Crags – James Day, Dudley

Millennium-beacon-above-Rhyader-Cambrian-Mountains
Book of Taliesin facsimile