Friday, October 11, 2013

Quilt A Poem Competition - Bailieborough

I judged the Quilt A Poem Competition, sponsored by Cara Pharmacy and Beauty which was part of Bailieborough Poetry Festival. We were delighted with the response to this competition and the number and quality of the entries.

It was a difficult task to pick a shortlist and a winner but I enjoyed the challenge. The standard was very high, I can now see why I fail in some many poetry competitions.

I was impressed by the number of poets who started from scratch and came up with a great poem based on a quilt in the relatively short time involved. It was clear also that some found a poem already written which chimed with something in a quilt and entered it. No problem with that either.

The variety of approach was also impressive. Some wrote of the process of quilting, created a story behind the quilting or made quilting a metaphor for something else, including for writing a poem.

I created a longlist of about seventeen fairly easily but cutting that down to ten was difficult with various poems entering and leaving on each new reading. One poem did stand out at this stage and it became the winner.

And the winner was Annette Skade from west Cork for her poem Wedding Quilt. Pictured above with Paddy Halligan, chair LitLab, and myself.

The results are here on the website and the winning and highly commended poems are on this page. Paddy Smith, LitLab member, videoed the prizegiving and has uploaded the proceedings onto YouTube. Search for Bailieborough Poetry Festival in YouTube to find them.

The one thing I haven't had the courage to do yet is look at the full list of those who entered. I'm there are many well-known poets and friends among those. Maybe better not to know!

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