Wednesday, February 06, 2008

2007 Plough Prize Winners

Over in the UK the results of the 2007 Plough Prize were announced earlier this week. You can see the winning poems and some comments by the judge, UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, over on the website. The quality seems very high and this may reflect the fact that the competition offers a high level of respect to all poets who enter.

EVERY poem entered got a tickbox critique, and for a small extra fee, a full critique is also available. I like this! Most poetry competitions have a stated aim to support and encourage poets – but the offer of even limited critique is rarely on offer. Sending work (along with the usual ‘entry’ fee) only to have it disappear into a limbo, unless one of a handful of prizewinners, can at times be more dispiriting than encouraging!

I can understand the administrative issues involved in providing a critique service – but even offering the option for a small additional cost would be a welcome development in many cases. I hope to see this becoming more the norm over time.

Meantime enjoy the poems – I particularly enjoyed Still Life by Alex Porter. Thanks to Matt at Polyolbion for bringing this to my attention.