Atelier East

Fenland Poet Laureate Awards 2016 - The Judges’ Report

The winners of the Fenland Poet Laureate Awards 2016 have been announced! Congratulations to Mary Livingstone, our Fenland Poet Laureate for 2016, and Tashi Marley who won the title of Young Fenland Poet Laureate.

A full review of the awards ceremony will be posted shortly, but in the meantime, here’s the report from our judges - Former Fenland Poet Laureate Poppy Kleiser, Former Peterborough Poet Laureate Pete Cardinal Cox, and local poet & workshop leader Sue Burge:

“The Fenland Poet Laureate competition was an honour to judge; the standard of writing was incredibly high and all three judges enjoyed reading the poems immensely. Thus the task of choosing a winner proved most challenging - each of our shortlisted poets had the creativity and technical ability to win first place. There is an eclectic chorus of voices in our selection of finalists. Each poet has taken the theme of ‘Fenland’ and addressed it with imagination and unique perspective.

“However, we were unanimous in our decision to give Mary Livingstone’s poem From Maramures to the Fens first place. Mary’s poem took us out of our comfort zone by exploring the current social climate of Fenland with stark realism. It went beyond quaint imagery of landscape and delved into the unrest and somewhat troubled mood lurking around our marshes, making her poem relevant to the ‘now’ of Fenland. These descriptions of the modern day Fens were executed with innovation and eloquence; a strong style and poetic skill. We have no doubt that she will represent poetry and the zeitgeist of the region superbly.”

The Fenland Poet Laureate Awards are supported by ADeC, Twenty20 Productions, Market Place and Creative People & Places. This year’s competition was funded by a grant from Ely City Council, and the Awards Ceremony was funded with the help of a Development Commission grant courtesy of Market Place.

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