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Poetry on the Lake

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



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

Overall winner  €500
Open category = €200, Formal = €100, Short= €100

3 categories:
Open (max 40 lines), Formal (max 40), Short (max 10 lines)
Mark category top right of each page. The same poem may be entered in two or more categories but will count each time as a separate entry.   

Fees are Donations, minimum below (no maximum!)

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
UK cheques/BPOs only payable to G. Griffin-Hall

Postal entries ROW & Online entries:
 Pay Paypal (Donate button below)

Fees can be sent by post (risky)in cash (sterling or euro notes only,wrapped in silver foil).

Online entries: pay Paypal*, note transaction ID, copy this in body of email with all contact details, subject of email 'Comp entry 2016'
Attach file/s with all poems preferably in one Word, doc  or pdf file named:  YOUR NAME Comp 2016

*Paypal: calculate total amount for entries (in euro) then click on Donate button below. 
 send to
poetryonthelake ( AT) yahoo.co.uk (eliminate spaces and brackets, substitute @ for AT)

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.

Each adjudicator will read all the poems in his/her category.

N.B.: Open category embraces all forms of poems providing they do not exceed 40 lines; 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. N.b. and just because a poem has 14 lines doesn't make it a sonnet. A sonnet should have a metre and/or rhyme scheme.
: all forms not exceeding 10 lines
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. 

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 

The poem is a vivid and even poignant memoir, in which real lives are captured by fine phrase-making. Indeed, a whole era evoked:

Second: Blackcurrants by Hilary Elfick, New Zealand 

This is a food-inspired memory successful in summoning a scene, indeed an era. The last line has a fine musicality- “that Summer / which became for me all summers since.”


The Hunger – Rachel Plummer - Edinburgh

 a glimpse of modern life and a relationship. ‘‘The Hunger’ is powerful in its own way.

Leaving Glawdom by Night – Geraldine Clarkson, Leamington Spa

Peculiar yet worthwhile. (I note how ‘kilometre’ has yet to attain the psychic power of ‘mile’ – or does this simply date me? Surreal, And yet… intriguing.”

Robert Minhinnick

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

“Some lovely things here: generally a very high standard! I took everything to my cabin to read and read again: I wanted to be absolutely sure I was content with my final selection. I feel so now!”

Kenneth Steven


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

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

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

 category adjudicated by Kevin Bailey

This was quite difficult to judge as the standard was above average and I dithered a lot… I liked a lot of them and could have filled an issue of HQ with many of these poems,”

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


Note from organiser: there were a number of poems 14 lines long entered into the Formal category that had no recognisable form, metre or rhyme scheme, but intended, I imagine, to class as sonnets. The Formal poems category is exactly that, i.e. we expect to receive poems having a distinct form, traditional or modern as it may be. Not all 14-line poems are automatically sonnets, however much modern thinking may push the boundaries.. Some very good poems of 14 lines should have been entered into the Open category.

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 

Silver Wyvern & €500 to winner
    2nd €200   
Prize for best sonnet €100
other prizes to those Commended who read at the Awards in October

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 
All entries are sent to the adjudicators without any identification, only I know who the authors are and, of course, I ’m allowed no say in the competition. But I do read all the poems and have my favourites. Some of these came up in the final lists, here are the ones that didn’t but that I liked very much:
Bells by D.P, USA; Eclipse (and the other poems entered by the same author) by M.W, Hull;
Lost Words by B.C.,N.Yorks; The Frankenstein Summer by R.S., London; Coat Hangers by V.F. Canterbury; Still life with Pineapple by J.G.,Essex; The Last Great Adventure by A.B. Edinburgh; General James Wolfe’s Mother by S.S., Kent; Wreath of Gold & Red Kite Wood by T.L, London; The Japanese Sword by D.Y., Oxford; Capitano Bridge by K.J., London; La Diosa de Oro by S.R., Kent; The Finding by R.T., London; Alarm by P.B., York; Visitations by P.B. Stoke-on-Trent; Golden Part III by L.G. Sheffield; Ode 7 by D.P.; In Praise of Bare-Handed Women & Spinning by S.U.,Wokingham; Assay by L.S., Slough; Soul by E.R. Devon; My Father’s Orrery by G.L., Worcestershire.
Thanks to all those who entered. We enjoyed reading your poems immensely and appreciate your support of Poetry on the Lake. Alas, we have no funds for an anthology this year.
Prizes: overall winner: Silver Wyvern Award and €400
Please note: the overall winner will be chosen from the winners of all three categories
Two prizes of €200 each to winners of other two categories.
Three runners-up prizes (one in each category) of €100 each
Prizewinners who come to the awards in person will also receive, besides the cash prize, an object of design awarded by ALESSI

Bradford-on-Avon Poetry Fringe Festival Competition for poems of up to 40 lines on any subject.
Closing: 12th July 2013       Prizes: £200,£50, £25.
Entry Fee: £4 each £10 for three, £3 thereafter.
Adjudicator is Roger Elkin

No entry form required. Usual competition rules apply.
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 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 XII International Poetry Competition 2012 - RESULTS

Poetry on the Lake 11th International Competition 2011- RESULTS

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 site July, winners contacted beforehand.
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 reading of winners & commended.

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

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'

Lucia K Chen –   ‘The Fisherman’s Dawn’
Joy Lalicata – ‘We had a fight with stones’           
Stella Lalicata – ‘The Stones and the Clones’    
Angelica Poversky    ‘If hearts were made of stone’
Lin Wang ‘Conversations with my immigrant mother’ 
Katherine Ward ‘ Rock and Stone’ 

congratulations to these young poets!

Thanks to all those who entered.
There were roughly 400 entries, of which 107 in the Short poems category and 68 in the Formal verse section.
The suggested (not obligatory) theme for all categories was 'Stone' and this wide-ranging theme seemed to inspire the majority of poems.
Awards and Celebration 23-25 September. More news and programme in due course.

Panel of adjudicators:

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

Categories: Open (max 60 lines) - Formal (max.40) - Short (max 10)


(Click 'Donations' button and on Paypal page state amount)

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'