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Poetry on the Lake

17th Competition RESULTS

Silver Wyvern adjudicator Carol Ann Duffy
Theme Metal: 
precious, base, anything metallic...interpret as wished 

Formal & Short categories: no set theme,
 Formal - Kevin Bailey ; Short - Oz Hardwick
all 3 adjudicators read all poems in his or her category


1st & Silver Wyvern - When he called me a faggot -  Toby  Campion, Leicester

2nd - The Mechanics of Love - Victoria Gatehouse, Halifax  

3rd - Metamorphic - Sally Douglas, Exeter  

Highly Commended

The Slave of Velazquez - Derek Sellen, Canterbury

The Regular Round - Helena Goddard, Tewkesbury

When the Rowan's Laden - Aileen Ballantyne Edinburgh

The woman who married an alchemist - Sarah Doyle   London

Wheelbarrow -  Sharon Black, Gardoussel, France

Aubade - Jeri Onitskansky, Barnet

Flame Test - Victoria Gatehouse, Halifax  

FORMAL POEMS adjudicated by KEVIN BAILEY, founder and editor of HQ Poetry Magazine 

1st - We found an unexploded mine that day. Deidre Parkes County Carlow, Ireland 

2nd - God of Love. Brian Kirk  Dublin  Ireland

3rd - The Judge's Wife. Anne Ballard  Edinburgh

HC - For my silent lover. Rebecca Farmer  London        

HC - Supercooling. Jennifer Sykriewicz  Haxby, York

C - Another Time.  Tim O’Leary  London

C - Her Blanket. Adele Cordner  Magor, Wales 

C - From a cab, not upon Westminster Bridge. Patrick B. Osada Warfield

C - Stonehenge. M. Lee Alexander  Williamsburg  USA    

C - For the day you turn to me and ask. NJ Hynes  London


SHORT (10 lines or under) CATEGORY adjudicated by OZ HARDWICK, Professor of English at Leeds Trinty University

1st -  River -  Sharon Black  Gardoussel, France

2nd - The Bomb Fell  -  Michael Swan, Oxford  

HC - In the Bathroom    Brian Clark York 

HC - Monkeys  –Fokkina McDonnel,  Manchester

HC - Something Harmless is Wrong  –Rebecca Titus,  Baltimore USA



Kevin Bailey says of the Formal poems ( i.e. poems following set forms, traditional or modern):

“Well, the judging wasn't easy. The bulk of course can be dismissed as 'worthy' but not particularly original or inspiring. My criteria are very simple – the best poems endure in the mind. Finally it was the poem I remember, the one that leaves an echo the following day, that wins.”

Oz Hardwick says of the Short poems:

I didn’t count them, but I guess there were around ninety or so poems in this category, which accounts for a lot of blank paper. So, the first question I asked of each poem was: does it sit there, minding its own business in the top left-hand corner, or does it spread out and make that sheet of paper its own? That’s what those little words do when they’re in just the right place, and maybe around a third of the submissions passed the audition after a few re-readings.

After a couple of weeks of travelling with this unruly little band, reading them in different places, at different times of the day or night, there were five that really settled down with me, often cropping up of their own accord when I wasn’t expecting them, long after I’d stopped reading. ‘In the Bathroom’ is a small monument, undemonstrative but solid, with very deep foundations; ‘Monkeys’ hold its pain inside, though you can read it in each small movement; ‘Something Harmless is Wrong’ pulls shapes from a dash and flourish. Ultimately, though, it came down to two completely contrasting poems. ‘The Bomb Fell’ is one of those poems that may initially be dismissed as ‘broken-up prose,’ yet is a perfect example of how far that is from the truth, with each line break exactly balanced to tip into the next for maximum effect.

In many ways, it’s impossible to compare the two, but it had to be done, and ‘River’ just came out on top. Bursting with sensory intensity, it is nonetheless beautifully controlled, focused, the negatives in the first line of each of the first stanzas moving into the almost meditational observation of self I those following, and finally resolving into the revelatory celebration of the final couplet. A wonderful example of what can be done with so few words when they’re the right words, in the right places.”



17th International Poetry on the Lake Competition

Deadline: now 2nd May 2017 (last postmark or 24.00 email)

3 categories: Silver Wyvern (all forms, max 40 lines);
Short poems (max.10 lines); Formal (max 40 lines)


Theme for Silver Wyvern: Metal – may be interpreted widely but must bear a reference to the theme.

No set theme for Short & Formal categories. 

Prizes: Silver Wyvern category winner: Silver Wyvern and €500.

2nd - €200; 3rd €100. Formal & Short categories: winners: €100 each

All prizewinners present at Celebration receive an object of design awarded by ALESSI

 no entry form required

Entries & Fees: please note the suggested fees below, all fees are donations to the organisation and events of Poetry on the Lake. However, if you can't afford the fee, just send what you wish. Those who can, please donate generously.

Postal entries:

UK: £8 first poem; further poems £6 each. UK cheques/BPOs only, payable to 
G. Griffin-Hall.   ROW: €12 first poem; 2 or more, €10 each. Pay Paypal*
Send two copies of each poem, one anonymous, the other with contact details on back, to 

Poetry on the Lake - 28016 Isola San Giulio NO - Italy

    Online entries

£ 10 or € 12 or $ 15 first poem; further poems £8/€ 10/$12 each. Pay Paypal*, note transaction ID, copy in body of email with all contact details, subject of email 'Comp entry 2017' . Attach file/s with all poems preferably in one Word, doc or pdf file named:  YOUR NAME COMP 2017, send to poetryonthelake   @  yahoo.co.uk  (close gaps)

*Paypal: calculate total amount for entries (in euro) then pay Paypal account: poetryonthelake@yahoo.co.uk         


Usual competition rules apply:  
Poems must not have been printed or published (including on internet magazines but on a personal or friend's blog with restricted access, that's ok), nor have won a previous prize.
Entrants must be over 16 years old on 1st January 2012.

N.B.: Open category embraces all forms of poems providing they do not exceed 40 lines (title excluded); free verse, traditional or formal verse - anything goes!
Formal category: traditional verse forms: sonnets, sestinas,ballards,haiku (up to five haiku on one page count as one entry) villanelles etc or your own rhyming or metrical scheme. NOT free verse and just dividing a free verse poem into couplets without a rhyming or metrical scheme doesn't make for a Formal poem and just because a poem has 14 lines doesn't make it a sonnet, a sonnet should have a metre and rhyme scheme.
: all forms not exceeding 10 lines (title excluded)
Entering the competition you automatically agree to allow Poetry on the Lake to publish on internet and/or in print placed and  winning entries.  However, we will ask you first for permission.

The judges' decision is final.  

Do not send SAE. We will send results to winners June or July at latest and they will be on website. 
The same poem may be entered in two or more categories but will count each time as a separate entry. A competitor may win 2 or 3 prizes, each in a different category, but no more than one prize in a single category. Results on website July, winners contacted earlier
Possible publication for winning and selected poems (we try to contact all authors first, although entry to the competition implies automatic permission to publish). Copyright remains with the author.
Awards in the autumn, with readings of winners & commended.


XVI  Poetry on the Lake International Competition for the Silver Wyvern:
 closed 30th April 2016   Theme 'STAR'
Anne Stewart - Kevin Bailey - Christopher North


Silver Wyvern: Sharon Black, France


1st Open Night at the Observatory - Pat Borthwick, Kirby Underdale  

2nd  Helen Keller Meets Charlie Chaplin on a Hollywood Film Set -  Jane Lovell, Rugby   & 3rd Red Shift – Malcolm Watson, Hull  

Highly Commended Leveller – Malcolm Watson, Hull    Last but Not Least – Chris Considine, Plymouth  

Starside  - Katherine Pierpoint, Harbledown Sweep – Pat Borthwick,  Kirby Underdale   

SHORTLIST (in random order) 

Nancy’s Star Turn – Alwyn Marriage, Guilford Agua Caliente 1978 – Malcolm Watson, Hull

The First Person to Like This – Robert Miles  Voyager 1 – John R.B. Arkinson, York

A Descent – Rosamund Taylor, Dublin An Old Gourmet Spices Up Love – Rebecca Bilkau 

GP’s Waiting Room – Victoria Field, Canterbury As Rarest Tanzanite – Rose Flint, Frome

Wobbles – Pat Borthwick, Kirby Underdale Five-ways – Annette Skade, Cork


Results Formal Category 

Winner:  212. The Star – Carolyn King, Isle of Wight


Highly Commended 

                 Mabel’s Strange Predicament – Michael Coy, Malaga, Spain  and      The star who fell to earth – Beverly Hughes, Cardiff, Wales


Shortlist (in random order):


 The Way Down – Alison Absolute, Stratford-upon-Avon.   Galileo Galilei – Carole Bromley, York.    Trapped – Jenna Plewes, Alvechurch Abandoned – A.C. Clarke, Glasgow.  How I Wonder What You Are – Michael Swan, Oxford.  
 Orphic Sonnet: Breaking the Rules – Andrew Robinson, Truro.     Astronomy – Michael Shann, London

Results Short poems category

Winner : Fire Pit – Sharon Black, Gardoussel, France 

Highly Commended:

2nd Duality- Rachel Plummer, Edinburgh      and   3rd Every Poet's Horoscope  – Brian Clark, York 

Short Listed: Neighbours - N.J. Hynes, London  The Last Bus – Sean Burke, Milan

                    A Star is Born – Elisabeth Rowe, Devon

and Special Mention for comic verse,  Psychoanalysis – Alison Absolute, Stratford-upon-Avon

XV International Competition for the Silver Wyvern : RESULTS

for his sonnet 'Cygnus'


OPEN category 
adjudicated by Robert Minhinnick

First: Paternal Relations by Anne Ballard, Hornsey 

Second: Blackcurrants by Hilary Elfick, New Zealand 


The Hunger – Rachel Plummer - Edinburgh

Leaving Gawdom by Night – Geraldine Clarkson, Leamington Spa

Long listed (in random order)

Dining with Father – Anne Ballard    Coupe De Foudre – Natalie Holborow

The 9.20 to Edale – Rob Miles   Small Hungers – Peter Mullineaux

La la la la etc – Peter Wyton     Salsa – Alwyn Marriage

Tomato Soup – Michael Swan     Meio, Ivy – Michael Swan  In Their Turn – Michael Swan

Collective Works of Nature – Brian Clark  The Inconstant Ones – Nancy Campbell 

Rosemary Music Paper
 – Rosie Shepherd    
Balthazar Bakery – Rosie Shepherd

Christmas Eve – Isabel Bermudez    La sobremesa – Isabel Bermudez           

Sleeping Venus in Love – Abigail Ardelle Zammit  Afflatus in my Home Town – Geraldine Clarkson

The Waiting – Seamus Harrington     The Disposition of the Sun – Tim O’Leary

Revisiting Shelagh’s Way – Roger Elkin…  Madame - Joan Michelson

Crumbs – Pat Borthwick   Another night in…-Sam Clayden

Silk Road – Elisabeth Rowe   Greek Salad – Josh Elroy    Summer – Graham Burcell


SHORT POEM category Adjudicated by Kenneth Steven

1st : Military Section, Royal College of Surgeons  -  Aileen Ballantyne, Edinburgh

2nd : Applestar  - Ann Drysdale Gwent
HC   Starfish  -   Rachel Plummer Edinburgh    A hillside -  Lizzie Fincham Brighton

The Road - Brian Clark York 
 A Treat by the Dockyard - Kay Cotton, Villebaudon, France

 category adjudicated by Kevin Bailey

Kevin Bailey

Ist : Opening Time - Michael J Woods Worcester 2nd Granny Smith -  June English, Kent 

Highly Commended (in random order)

Things You Have Slaughtered  - Virginia Astley   Time and Place - Barry Tempest

Fare - John Gallas    Papillon de Nuit – Elisabeth Sennitt Clough   Mayan Statue – A.C. Clarke 

Others in the final pile were Chinese Restaurant, Rome – Martin Bennett, - The Angel and the Saddlebacks - Anne Boileau; 
Losing Them – Anne Ballard; Bobby Sands’ Final  Sonnet – Richard Westcott; Ancient Pestle - A.C. Clarke


XIV International Poetry Competition 
adjudicators: Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker

adjudicated by Carol Ann Duffy
Ist to Virginia Astley, Dorchester for her poem Homecoming
2nd to Guy Russel, Milton Keynes, for From the Archipelago
Highly Commended: Rachel Plummer, Edinburgh, for Braid 

listed (in random order)

Snow in October –  Caroline Bostock; Perspectives double sonnet –  Derek Sellen;  No silver lining –  Camilla Lambert; 
Fog in the Dale –- Chris Considine; Swaledale snow – Chris Considine; Fountains Abbey –  Francis Harris; 
It never rained –Hugh Sullivan; Shopping List - Hazel Clark;

adjudicated by Gillian Clarke and Imtiaz Dharker

to Anne Stewart, Kent, for her poem 
Snow snow more cold lonely snow
2nd prize to Dorothy Yamamoto, Oxford for The Frost Fair
Highly Commended: Brigit Sivill, Normandy, for Variable weathers 
Rose Flint, Somersetfor Marking China Blue
Commended: Thelma Laycock, Leeds for Visits
Chris Considine, Plymouth, for An Arc 

Awards during the course of the XIV Celebration at Belgirate, Lake Maggiore 10th-12th October. Please see Festival page 

  Theme was 'Weather'    “Poets are always taking the weather so personally.”  
J.D. Salinger 

enquiries: poetryonthelake@yahoo.co.uk           

Poetry on the Lake XIII International Poetry Competition

The awards were presented at Villa Carlotta, Belgirate, 12th October, by the Mayor of Belgirate and the Assessore Claudia Buscher.


Adjudicators: Anne-Marie Fyfe, Imtiaz Dharker, Kevin Bailey
OPEN CATEGORY (376 poems entered)
FIRST PRIZE:: The Aftermath Inspector - Clare Best, Lewes, Sussex
SECOND PRIZE: Census - Christopher North , Alicante, Spain
Devon Tin - Oz Hardwick, York; My Favourite Knife - H.V.Goddard , Tewkesbury    
Morning LightWes Lee, Wellington, New Zealand, The PropertyJean Harrison, Settle.
A Roomful of CupboardsAngela Croft, London;      This Is What We DoMichael Swan, Oxford;
Cutting The PagesKathleen Kummer, Totness;       The Kitchen Cupboards - Gill Andrews , Edinburgh.
SHORT CATEGORY (138 poems entered)
FIRST PRIZE: Blind - Enda Coyle-Greene, Skerries, Ireland
SECOND PRIZE: The Peach Grower's Last Request - Susi Clare, Travedona Monate, Italy
The late air - Roberta James, London; Oh Careful, be Careful, Gill-Gallium - Diane E Cockburn, Durham; film - B.A.Morton, Jordanstown , N.Ireland
SHORTLISTED(in random order):
The Angel in My Underwear - Elaine Jarvest Miller ,Devon ;Silver bracelet - Faye Boland, Kenmare, Ireland; She is MercuryKate Dempsey,Maynooth,  Ireland;A fine amalgam - Camilla Lambert , Arundel;A Tin of Powder - Marie Naughton , Manchester;Swift as Quicksilver - Anne Boileau, Coggeshall; Sidi Bou Said - Lavinia Currier, USA ;The Man who brought Copper and Gold - Susi Clare, Italy;NightwindAnthony Watts,Taunton; Repeatability -Heidi Williamson , UK; Gallipoli - Liz Thompson, Oxford;Pram fall - Mia Timberlake, South Australia; shoaElsa Fischer, Switzerland; The Blues harp - Fran Reader,Woodbridge;Fire and Tin - Wes Lee, New Zealand; Portrait of the Mother as a Blue Jug - Anna Kisby,Brighton;After a death: A tenderness of thought - Wes Lee, New Zealand;Flensed -  Geraldine Mitchell, Ireland
FORMAL CATEGORY (124 poems entered)
FIRST PRIZE: Rigel HillWilliam Gilson, Cumbria.
SECOND PRIZE: BZH400Peter Duff, Ireland.
The Golden StairsSarah Doyle, London; Two birds for KabirMaitreyabandhu, London; John Keats’ Ring – Carole Bromley, York.
SHORTLISTED (in random order)
Special Mention to F&BCarole Bromley,York; Hillside at Grizzana Maitreyabandhu, London;Live fast, Die Young – Beverly Francis, Cardiff, Wales;Typeface Facelift – Lois Elaine Heckman, Milan, Italy; Ode to My Rhyming DictionaryChris O'Carroll, USA; The Smith’s Rejoinder to the Carpenter - Malcolm Watson, Hull;The Metal Detector -  Hilary Elfick, Cambridge; A Visit to a Military Ward - Don Nixon, Albrighton; Spending Time – Peter Duff, Ireland;Tea Break with Tin Mug – Enda Coyle-Greene, Ireland 
Results 2012
OPEN CATEGORY (272 entries)– adjudicator GILLIAN CLARKE
1st: Crows, Seaton Park – Wayne Price (Aberdeen) 2nd : Panther – Emma Harding
FORMAL CATEGORY (101 entries) – adjudicator CAROLE BALDOCK
1st: The Surrey Tiger Nick MacKinnon (Winchester)
2nd: A Letter from the Master of His Majesty’s Ship The Tiger, Aleppo 1606 Sarah Doyle (London)
1st:Cows in the Ashmolean – Dorothy Yamamoto (Oxford) 2nd : The Bear – Katrina Naomi (London

Poetry on the Lake 11th International Competition 2011- RESULTS

 The song of the woman who wanted a train
Diana Pooley, London
RUNNER-UP: Fossil record Wayne Price, Aberdeen
Lithium lovesongLydia Macpherson, Babraham  The Gift - Sharon Black, St André de Valborgne
 Black Book of WarwickLynne Wycherley, Kidlington   Sold - Pat Borthwick,  Kirby Underdale

WINNER: Inclined to envy woodliceChris Considine,
RUNNER-UP: Returning - Donna Pucciani,  Illinois , USA

And then;  
Gill McEvoy - Chester 
The place of stones - Tim O’Leary - London
Agata and aphrodisiac - Derek Sellen, Canterbury
The vixen - Susi Clare, Travedona Monate


WINNER: Laying the foundation stone -
Don Nixon, Albrighton
RUNNER-UP: Terra - 
Anne Ballard, Hornsey

Innocents awhirl -
Mira Mehta, London
A black-suited revolution - Peter Goulding, Dublin
New Year - A C Clarke, Glasgow
Days like trees - Polly Walshe, Oxford

YOUNG WYVERN (only for 2011)
we had no section for young poets but there were a number of under 16's who submitted poems to the main competition. So we decided to treat and judge them separately. We shall not accept entries from under 16s in 2012.

winner: Lamorna Tregenza-Reid (age 10) with 'Her Thinking Hand'


Panel of adjudicators:

Don Paterson chose the winners of all three categories from lists drawn up by
Anne Stewart and Oz Hardwick.

Results of competition 2010


James Harpur, Carole Baldock, Kevin Bailey

 The  Awards were presented by
H.M. Consul General Dr Laurence Bristow-Smith

on Saturday, 2nd October, in Sala Tallone, Isola San Giulio
during the course of the
10th International Poetry Celebration 1st-3rd October
Prizewinners who come in person also received, besides the cash prize, an object of design 'La stanza dello sciricco' awarded by Alessi


Silver Wyvern 2010

A Roman slave reflects on inevitability - Emma Harding,

Short poems

 Archetypes - Lucius Redman


Formal poems 
 An Ex Pat's Mediterranean Retirement Diary  & The Hospice at Cannes - Don Nixon


'From the Lake-side',  writing on Lake Orta: won by D.M. Thomas with 'Singing Along'