Segora poetry competition 2017
Presentation evening and writing workshop 14th/15th October.
competition is open now. Closing date is June 15 2018
First prize: £300 Second prize: £50 Third prize: £30 or equivalent €
This year for the first time the Segora first prize is shared between two poets. We would like to thank our judge, A.C.Clarke, for the enormous amount of work she has put into making her selections.
Joint First prize:
(USA) and John Baylis Post
The poems came in a wide variety of
formats and approaches and ranged over almost as many topics as
there were entrants. The variety and freshness of the topics covered
was one of the delights of judging and augurs well for the health of
poetry in English. It is a mark of the high overall standard of
entries that I would be happy to read in magazines or hear read
aloud many poems which I eventually discarded. These were discarded
not because they were 'bad' poems but because in my view they did
not have the reach and assurance of the poems which made it into the
final shortlist or they had easily rectifiable flaws.
Every entry I received has been read at least once, most at least two or three times. Every poem on the longlist has been read at least five times. The 37 longlisted poems came to the fore out of an entry of 240+ for their grace or daring or general accomplishment. More than one of these which did not make it onto the shortlist was let down by a weak ending, a careless turn of phrase or a sense of discovering too late (and not with the effect of an epiphany) what the poem was really about. Nevertheless they are overall good poems which the authors can be proud of. The shortlisted poems were excellent in their different ways but this was a competition and so I was required to put poems in rank order: some were more excellent than others, at least in my judgement!
When it came to the poems which were my top six, judgement – as so many poetry judges find – became impossibly difficult. It has become almost a cliché for judges to say that the order of the final poems not only changes several times in the course of the final readings but could change again on another day. It is a cliché because it's true. In making my selection – and in a way ducking the issue by awarding a joint first – I have tried to honour different kinds of poetry as well as obvious excellence in all. It was a privilege to read these poems and indeed to enter for a brief space into the many and varied worlds of all the entrants. To those who were unsuccessful, don't give up. Keep writing – and just as important – keep reading.
Click on the buttons to read and download the winning poems