Fenland Poet Laureate Awards 2020 to 2021 open for entries from next month
PUBLISHED: 11:12 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 18 June 2020
The Fenland Poet Laureate Awards 2020 to 2021 are open for entries from next month – here’s everything you need to know ahead of the ceremony.
Poets from across the Fens and north east Cambridgeshire, aged 18 or over, are urged to pick up a pen and enter this year’s competition.
The awards will be judged by poet and visual artist, John Lyons, a Trinidadian-born poet, painter, illustrator, educator and curator who now lives in Fenland.
John has worked as a theatre designer, exhibition adviser and as a teacher both of visual art and creative writing.
As an art critic, he has written essays for catalogues, notably for Denzil Forrester‘s major touring exhibition Dub Transition, for Jouvert Print Exhibition and Tony Phillips’ Jazz and The Twentieth Century.
Public collections that hold artwork by John Lyons include Rochdale Art Gallery, Huddersfield Art Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum‘s Word & Image Print Collection and the Arts Council National Collection.
His collections of poetry have been described both as being focused on “describing the texture of the Caribbean landscape and the vividness of its peoples” and contributing “to the enrichment of the West Indian British voice”.
To be eligible for entry into the 2020 Fenland Poet Laureate competition, poems must be less than 40 lines and previously unpublished.
Only one entry per poet. Poems may be in free verse or a stricter form.
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There is no set theme, but it is expected that the entries will reference Fenland in some way, either subtly through imagery or more directly about life in Fenland, for example.
Entrants are asked to send two hard-copies of their entry to the following address: PO Box 234, Wisbech, PE14 4EZ, along with a brief statement.
They must explain what they feel they have to gain from the role of Fenland Poet Laureate and what community-based work they would like to develop throughout their year as Fenland Poet Laureate.
A spokesman said: “Please ensure that you pay the correct postage, as mail that does not meet the postage requirements will be returned.
“The competition organiser takes no responsibility for entries that do not meet the postage requirement and will not consider them for entry.
“Do not include your name and contact details on either copy of your poem, as the competition will be judged anonymously.
“Do send a separate cover-sheet with this information. Please send an SAE if you require acknowledgment of your entry. Only entries with SAEs will receive an acknowledgement response.
“The winning and commended poems will be published in the Fenland Poetry Journal.
“If social-distancing measures allow, the winner and runners-up will be invited to attend a ceremony for the presentation of awards by the adjudicator John Lyons.”
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