GALLERY: Poets battle it out to be named Fenland Poet Laureate

Fenland Poet Laureate 2014. Picture: MARK HARRISON Fenland Poet Laureate 2014. Picture: MARK HARRISON

Saturday, March 29, 2014
2:31 PM

Poets and writers from across the county came together to take part in the third annual Fenland Poet Laureate Awards at a packed Wisbech and Fenland Museum.

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Fenland Poet Laureate 2014. Picture: MARK HARRISONFenland Poet Laureate 2014. Picture: MARK HARRISON

Poppy Kleiser wowed judges with her poem “Digging” and was crowned Fenland Poet Laureate, while 10 year-old Florence Browse was named Young Poet Laureate for her poem “Liqourice Lines”, which impressed with its sense of rhythm and vivid imagery.

In her role as Fenland Poet Laureate, Poppy will write poetry for local events and raise the profile of literary and creative writing.

She said: “My main prerogative in the role will be to bring the poetry to the people.

“I would like to put Fenland on the map for being the creative and progressive district it is, giving all the unheard poets a platform upon which to utilise their talents and create a lasting legacy of Poetic Fenland.”

Fenland Poet Laureate 2014. Picture: MARK HARRISONFenland Poet Laureate 2014. Picture: MARK HARRISON

Emma Danes was second in the adult category, with Helen Pletts and Jonathan Totman joint third.

Richard Powell, Paul Quant, Michael Riccardi, Miriam Brown, Deb Curtis and Rosemary Westwell were highly commended.

In the junior category, Kristina Tunnard came second for the second straight year, ahead of William Sinfield.

The seven highly commended poets were Hannah Lemmon, Ben Hamilton, Lucy McInerney, Harry Sayer, Rana Gadir, Macy Hilton and Rachael White.

The event was organised by ADeC and Atelier East with funding from Wisbech and Fenland Museum and Wisbech Town Council..

Digging by Poppy Kleiser, Fenland Poet Laureate 2014.

An unknown soldier from an absent land

Would wash away the world with thoughts of home

Dug out the ditches so much like his own

And ripped the air with screams of phantom seas.

At home they dug for life, he thought –

Despite the slitting of the wicker catch, although

They cut the legs from crouching snigglers, who

Moon-mad leapt from pool to vapoured ditch.

They slink like eels around the sculpted veins, like

Let us onto land, let us be the start of life again, those sparkling cells

Green and laughing, let us see the rivers fresh from blood and for this

Prehistoric race let us breathe the air again.

He once had known a girl at home, who lived upon the ten mile bank

Who had the sting of sea salt on her skin, who

Called the echoed song of ghostly birds

That nightly circled stars around the fen.

Back to the end of the world they ran; became the sky swallowed land, and fell

To grassy depths, became the silt and called the spectral seas to claim their bones.

The stars were born and danced before their eyes, for they had made the raindrops on their skin

And as the soldier felt the fire and died, upon the fen he heard the mermaid sing.

Liquorice Lines by Florence Browse, Young Fenland Poet Laureate 2014.

Marshy swamps, muddy paths,

Fishes taking messy baths.

Through the Fenland a river winds,

Eels swimming like liquorice lines.

Orange, yellow, brown, green,

Contrast with the graceful reeds.

Through the Fenland a river winds,

Eels swimming like liquorice lines.

White clouds, big blue sky

Floating above our heads up high.

Through the Fenland a river winds,

Eels swimming like liquorice lines.

Pink sun slowly going,

Ending the day and ending my poem.

Yet through the Fenland a river winds,

Eels swimming like liquorice lines.

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