GDST Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize

Many congratulations to Tabi H (Year 10) and Morwenna B in Year 12 who both did extremely well in this year’s GDST Laurie Magnus Poetry Prize. They were both highly commended in their categories and received some lovely comments from the judges which you can see below:

There are many lovely poems evoking different places among the entries this year, but Tabitha’s is the only one which uses the power of another language to help (I asked a Welsh friend for the translations). I always think it’s worth putting a bit of mystery in a poem – not so much in making it hard to understand what’s going on, but maybe a few references the reader has to work a bit to get. In the age of Google it’s not difficult to look things up. Inventive rhyming, too – even the A17 sounds romantic when it’s rhymed with Llyn.

I agonised over Ynys Môn and Untitled until I decided to throw in the towel and place them equally commended. Two very different poems. Milli’s reminds me of Baudelaire in its symbolism: the flower in the throat is a strong  and visceral image. Morwenna’s evocation of Anglesey is deceptively simple at the outset but then draws on some very beautiful imagery to give us the sound of the sea and the gulls: the rolling pebbles perhaps also brought me a whiff of one of my favourite poems, Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach.

Posted 27 June 2019


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