Ledbury Poetry Competition: Young Adults

I want to congratulate all the Ledbury young poets but in particular my three students: Nicole, Phoebe and Lucy. Their hardwork has paid off.  Sorry for being so slow posting this!!


Judge:  This year’s judge for adults, young people and children was Ian Duhig who won the National Poetry Competition twice, and also the Forward Prize for Best Poem; his collection, The Lammas Hireling, was the Poetry Book Society’s Choice for Summer 2003, and was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize for Best Collection. Chosen as a New Generation Poet in 1994, he has received Arts Council and Cholmondeley Awards, and has held various Royal Literary Fund fellowships at universities including Lancaster, Durham, Newcastle and his own alma mater, Leeds.


First Prize:          Flora de Falbe for Girl

Gothic horror treatment of growing older full of wonderful imagery and turns of phrase.

Second Prize:     Conor McKee for Premature Flight

a Ted Hughes-like realisation of the natural world rendered with powerful and dramatic language.

Third Prize : Nicole Lai for Okay

in contrast to the above, a low-key and poignant poem of lost love


Highly Commended:

Phoebe Boswall

Jonal Corren

Lucy Hely-Hutchinson

Iris Pearson

The winning poems can be read here.

Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels: Featured Poet


In the yellow water pail
two blue mice are floating.
They splashed through my sleep
last night, and I ignored them.

On the porch, three more mice
lie in the bottom of a dry pail,
withered, with a few old leaves,
and a scattering of droppings.

One mouse looks nibbled,
keeping the others alive
to chase the walls a while
inside the plastic drum.

How long before they died?
We could lie in wait and
count how many fall in:
but simpler to set some traps.

I throw the crisp mice out,
and this morning’s two
wet and bloated ones,
with the water they drowned in,

scrape out the bucket of dried
mouseturds under the pump:
remember tonight
to keep the lid down on the water.


Peter Daniels has twice won the Poetry Business pamphlet competition, in 1991 and 1999, and came first in the 2002 Ledbury, the 2008 Arvon, and the 2010 TLS and Ver Poets competitions. He returned to pamphlets with Work & Food from Mulfran Press in 2010, and Mr Luczinski Makes a Move is forthcoming from HappenStance in 2011. As well as his own poems he is working on translations from the Russian of Vladislav Khodasevich. Peter lives in Stoke Newington, London.