GALLERY AND VIDEO: In words and pictures we present the winners of the 2013 Fenland Poet Laureate awards
- Credit: Archant
THE much-anticipated Fenland Poet Laureate awards brought together people from around the county to hear the shortlisted poets and young poets read their work at the Wisbech and Fenland Museum.
Organiser Karen Harvey of Atelier East said: “It was such an amazing evening, full of fantastic people and amazing poetry.”
She added: “There is so much talent in Fenland, and we need to keep encouraging people to come together and share it.”
She hosted the event with David Wright, the museum’s curator.
Elaine Ewart, the Fenland Poet Laureate 2012 and one of the judges of this year’s competition, told the 70 strong audience about her many activities bringing poetry and people together in the fens, and read a few of her fenland poems.
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Three young poets were shortlisted and had the chance to read out their entries, before the title of Young Fenland Poet Laureate 2013 was awarded to 13 year old James Horsburgh, who said he “couldn’t believe it”, and that the award would “definitely” encourage him to continue writing.
In second place came Kristina Tunnard and, in third, Bonnie Scott.
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Ten shortlisted adults performed their poems, to great acclaim.
The winning poet and Fenland Poet Laureate 2013 was announced as Leanne Moden, with second place going to Emma Ormond and in joint third, Lizzy Doe and Rani Drew.
Former Peterborough Poet Laureate, Pete Cox, said how impressed he had been by the strength of all the shortlisted poems. ‘Top quality all round!’
Winner Leanne Moden said: “I was so proud to be shortlisted - and completely shocked to hear that I’d won the award.
“All of the finalists were superb, and it was wonderful to hear so many people praising the positive attributes of Fenland. Events like the Fenland Poet Laureate Awards are so important,’
Emma Ormond, who took second prize, said “I could not have envisaged a friendlier more supportive forum for my first reading and it was so brilliant to hear all the other poets.”
One of the entrants, Taymaz Valley, who couldn’t be there arranged for a live web link so that he could be a part of the event and share the evening with his fellow poets.
His brother Siavash read for him, and introduced the poem with a speech that had the whole room cheering with enthusiasm.
“I want to thank Karen for all she has done and all that she is doing to promote the arts of Fenland, and I think you’d agree that we need to do all we can in order to give a voice to all our talented artists, writers and poets,” said Siavash.
Both Leanne Moden, Fenland Poet Laureate, and James Horsburgh, Young Poet Laureate for Fenland would be delighted to hear from community groups and event organisers who would like to invite them to write poems for their events.
If you would like to find out more about what your Poet Laureates can do for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Six miles by Leanne Moden
Six miles, again, we’ll go today,
for honour built on broken blades.
We’ll tame these meres; skate far and fast,
with hopes that winter, long may last.
For cold that creeps and freezes fen
brings out the Runners once again.
In tests of wit and skill and speed
on crystal lakes, still wreathed with weeds.
Contracted muscles, chests pulled tight,
like frightened birds, we take to flight.
Sinews screaming, taught like wire,
in every eye, a glint of fire.
On flooded fen, we carve our names
as brackish blood runs through our veins.
The lure of wealth may spur some forth –
we skate for love and all we’re worth.
This subtle smoothness, ice unspoiled,
a canvas stretched o’er sunken soil.
To skate the marsh is to be free:
‘These Fenmen do not run; they flee!’