So I didn't win a prize, get commended, or even get shortlisted in the Basil Bunting Poetry Award. The organisers are to be commended for putting the results online promptly, putting the winning poems online and including the judges comments. In some competitions the results don't even appear on the internet.
I like these comments by the judges Sean O'Brien, Linda France, Paul Batchelor: The weaker material had usually failed to address form at all, and thus had few strategies for shaping a poem at the points where imagery faltered or narrative lost impetus. The judges would have liked to see more generally a greater control over language and form, more clarity of argument and narrative and a stronger sense of risk and urgency in the entries.
I think more and more that form is crucial in all kinds of writing not just poetry but in poetry it is crucial. A well wrought poem should demand its own form which often can only be arrived at by a tedious process of experimentation. The sense of risk and urgency mentioned seems to be what often attracts the attention of judges. You do need something to make your entry stand out among the 913 other entries as in the Basil Bunting Award.
The only Irish resident among the winners and listed is Louth writer Barbara Smith who blogs here. Well done Barbara!