Well, I loved the whole 13 poem format for this wee competition and despite my best intentions, I couldn’t split two of the collections and so rather than a single winner we in fact will have two, with their pamphlets to be published later this year.
However I am getting ahead of myself and before we get to the winners –
The Shortlisted Poets, are:
- Heidi Joffe
- Niall Cassidy
- Merril Smith
- Marion Oxley
- Andy Eycott
- David Mark Williams
- Kate Young
- Kathy Zwick
- Manning Goodwin, and
- Vic Pickup
With Heidi Joffe and Niall Cassidy being recognised as Highly Commended.
But with no further delay – I’m very much pleased to tell you about the winning collections:
The first is a collection called ‘Death’ by Manning Goodwin, which I was absolutely spellbound by. A quite beautiful selection of poems with a rare grit and Johnny Cash-esque weariness – reality without weakness. There was never a moment when I didn’t want Hedgehog to publish this.
The second collection and amazingly, the first time I think that we have ever had anybody win back-to-back competitions here at Hedgehog is a very topical collection from Vic Pickup called ‘Lost and Found.’
Vic won our 2nd Cupid’s Arrow competition just last week, but this is an altogether different approach to her poetry, showing a serious depth and strength that simply demanded to be read. A small collection like this can’t carry any passengers and every word of Vic’s work here felt sculptured and perfectly set and as with Manning, there was never any doubt that I wanted us to publish this.
Overall then, many thanks to everybody that entered and congratulations to the Shortlisted poets and winners alike. This was the first time we’d run this sort of shortform/topical collection, but it seemed to catch the mood, so perhaps it will become an annual thing.