Atelier East

Short List Announced for Fenland Poet Laureate Awards

The votes are in and the finalists have been announced for this year’s Fenland Poet Laureate Awards!

The annual competition – which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year – gives local poets a chance to write a poem for Fenland and compete for the prestigious title of Fenland Poet Laureate.

The competition has two categories: adults (aged 18 and over) and young people (aged from 10 – 17). The ten finalists in each category will be invited to perform at the Fenland Poet Laureate Awards ceremony on that will take place on Friday 8th April, 7.30pm, at March Town Hall, Market Place, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 9JF.

The winners in both categories will receive trophies, and the winner in the adult category will also have the opportunity to work with local organizations, write poems for regional events and generally help to raise the profile of literary and creative writing throughout the Fens.

There will also be poetry from our special guest, the painter and prize-winning poet, John Lyons. John’s writing has been commended in the National Poetry Competition, and he has won the Peterloo Asian and Afro-Caribbean Poetry Prize twice. He’s published seven collections of poetry, including Dancing in The Rain, a book of poems for children. In 2003 he won the Windrush Arts Achiever Award, funded by Arts Council England, and he is a regular performer at Literary events and festivals across the UK.


The judges really enjoyed reading through over 100 entries - which were all anonymised to avoid any favouritism. After much debate, the judges chose their favourite ten poems in each category.

The shortlisted poets in the adult category are:

William Alderson
Pen Avey
Kathryn Aybak
Matt Deacon
Gudrun Filipska
Mary Livingstone
Pascale Palmer
Leah Spencer
Marina Yedigaroff
Rosemary Westwell
In the 10 – 17 year old age group, the ten finalists are:

Reuben Cartwright
Aida Kahn-Blunden
Tashi Marley
Jenna Petchell
Olivia Pugh
Natasha Richardson
Jack Robb
Toby Rolfe
Beatrice Winder
Felicity Wright

Special Commendation: Katie Kirkpatrick


All of the finalists will be invited to perform their poems on the night, and the Fenland Poet Laureate and Young Fenland Poet Laureate for 2016 will be revealed!

To find out who will win, please join the team for the Fenland Poet Laureate Award Ceremony, doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start on Friday 8th April at March Town Hall, Market Place, March, Cambridgeshire, PE15 9JF.

Tickets for the awards ceremony are £3 each (under 10s free). To book your tickets please contact ADeC at T: 01353 616 991 (Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm) or book online at Book in advance to avoid disappointment.


The Fenland Poet Laureate Awards were originally founded by Karen Harvey and received initial funding in the form of a prestigious Clore Poetry & Literature Award.

This year, the competition is being funded with the help of a grant from Ely City Council, as well as money from Arts Council England via Creative People and Places, with support from ADeC, Market Place, 20Twenty Productions CIC, and Atelier East.

Follow us: @Fenpoetlaureate

Comments are closed.