We are delighted to announce that this year’s winner is Charlie Kite who wins first prize for To the ghost of Philip Larkin, who won't shove off and leave me alone.
Charlie Kite, describing the inspiration behind the poem, said,
'I’ve drifted back and forth with Larkin as a poet; from an early teen obsession to a feeling of coldness towards his work, back to fascination. I wanted to capture that complex relationship here, bringing in my own experiences as a writer that have influenced me while acknowledging Larkin’s enduring influence on my work.'
Our huge congratulations to Charlie on winning the top prize! The competition was judged by Kyra Piperides and Clarissa Hard, editors of the About Larkin journal.
On judging the poetry competition, Kyra Piperides said:
'As we celebrate Philip Larkin's centenary, we were really honoured to be asked to judge The Pomegranate's Larkin-inspired competition - even more so when we started reading the entires which were an absolute treat to spend time poring over. We were really impressed by the strength of the entries, which responded to Larkin, his life work, and various places in really creative and thoughtful ways. The winning poems wrangled with complex relationships with the poet and his work, brought the world of Larkin into the twenty-first century, and made the ordinary somehow extraordinary with that familiar, Larkinesque transcendence.'
Charlie is an off-centre, cross genre writer focusing on nature, folklore and communities in change. His plays have been staged at the Edinburgh Fringe and VAULT Festival, and his work published by the Oxford Review of Books and 3 of Cups Press among others. He's currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Oxford.
Second Prize is awarded to Joe Caldwell, for his poem I walk back too early.
Joe Caldwell said:
'This poem is prompted by seeing a bus with rain-soaked windows on a sunny day, and the awareness that sometimes we are aware of weather approaching before it gets to us. And connected to this, the awareness that sometimes we can see in things - seasons, relationships, experiences - hints of their ending before it arrives.'
Joe Caldwell is a teacher and writer from Sheffield. His poems have appeared in The Rialto, The North, Under the Radar, and various other magazines and anthologies.
Third Prize is awarded to Alexandra Davis for her poem titled On Visiting Philip Larkin.
Inspiration for the poem 'was the result of a week long placement in Hull in order to explore the life and legacy of Philip Larkin.'
Alexandra Davis is a poet and English teacher living in Suffolk with her husband and four sons. Her debut pamphlet Sprouts was published in 2017, following in 2018 by Torches and Sparks: responses to the poetry of the First World War. Her poems have appeared in Agenda, Artemis, The Fenland Reed, and Emma Press anthologies, and she has been commended in competitions. She is currently reading for an MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford.
In addition to the three main prize winners, there were two Highly Commended poems.
Adam Crawford for Despair Made Beautiful.
Describing the inspiration behind the poem, Adam said:
'While unrelenting dismalness and morbidity are not the sorts of traits normally celebrated in writers, Larkin employed them abundantly and fearlessly to geniusly chilling effect.'
Adam Crawford was born in 1995. He worked as a direct-support professional and vocational rehabilitator for individuals with mental and physical disabilities for nearly two years. He plays in a few horrible bands in the Ventura/Oxnard punk rock scene. Sometimes he writes poems too. He lives in Simi Valley, California.
Samuel Litkovic also gained Highly Commended award for his poem titled Trinity Square.
Our enormous thanks go to Kyra Piperides and Clarissa Hard for judging our first competition.
We would also like to thank everyone who entered our competition and made it such an exciting event!
All five winners will be featured in Issue 3 (July 2022) of The Pomegranate London. The top three winners will also be featured in the About Larkin journal (October issue).
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