Allingham Poetry Competition & Festival - 6-9 Nov

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It's been a pretty manic couple of weeks, what with preparing for the launch of my debut collection, and I have a lot to report from the front lines of poeting. First up, I'm delighted to have been awarded first prize in the Allingham Poetry Competition, for my poem, 'CAT Scan'. Poetry judge, Monica Corish, described it as "a powerful poem, powerfully crafted. The language throughout is chosen with precision, taking us from the "blink and grind" of the CAT Scan to the remembered or imagined comfort of "a summer's dusk" where "humming to myself; the tree bends to listen." The last four lines of the poem are a tour de force of subtle restraint."

The poem is a favourite and I'm very grateful to Monica for such lovely feedback on the work.

The competition was held in conjunction with the Allingham Creative Arts & Literary Festival (6 - 9 Nov), taking place in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, home to 19th Century poet, William Allingham and his artist wife, Helen. This year, the Festival celebrates 'Creativity Across Borders' and includes events focusing on creative enterprise, TV and film (with the VFX team from Game of Thones, among others), digital storytelling and the literary arts.

The theme for Saturday's programme (8 Nov) is the Wonder of Words, with readings from Donal Ryan, Paul Lynch, Theo Dorgan and the Poetry Divas. I'll be reading along with the other competition winners at the Abbey Centre, 7pm.

If you're in the area, check out the Allingham Festival programme for lots of great events and hopefully see you there!

More news anon.