Wales Arts Review is proud to present a selection of poems from Coleg Gwent’s poetry competition organised by Leah Fox.
To celebrate World Poetry Day on 21st March 2017, Coleg Gwent’s Learning Centres held an open poetry competition for all campuses, with entries accepted in any style and on any topic. The response was positive, with poems submitted from Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone as well as the Crosskeys, Newport and Pontypool campuses. Prizes were awarded for both Welsh and English language entries, and Leah Fox, the competition organiser, arranged for art students to create bespoke work inspired by the winning poems.
The competition judges, Afryl Davies from Goriad, Simone Greenwood from Burst Publishing, and Geraint Wilson-Price from the Gwent Welsh for Adults Centre, were particularly impressed with the complexity of emotion and range of styles that were presented. The winning and highly commended entries were chosen for their powerful honesty, impact on the reader and artistic composition.
‘We were blown away by the quality of writing, raw vulnerability, and creative expression. These poems offer a glimpse into the iGeneration’s soul – a chance to pause and listen,’ commented Simone Greenwood, who is developing a Wales-wide poetry project inspired by this inaugural competition. The project will launch at the Velvet Coalmine Festival in September 2017, in association with Literature Wales’ Young Peoples’ Laureate Sophie McKeand, and will culminate in a published anthology created and produced by teenagers.
English winner: ‘Careless Love’ by Zara Lane (BGLZ)
Welsh winner: ‘Calais’ by Thomas David Llewellyn Summers (Crosskeys)
Highly commended: ‘my future’ by Tia Nicole Pennells (BGLZ), ‘Your Pretty Picture’ by Adam Gregory (BGLZ), ‘The Bluebird’ by Maisie Beckett (BGLZ), and ‘Blank Canvas’ by Cellan Rhys Lloyd (BGLZ)