2013 Charles Causley Poetry Competition Winners Announced


The Charles Causley Poetry Competition 2013 in London, 28th January 2014. Left to right: Dorothy Coventon, Simon Pomery, Sir Andrew Motion (Judge and Patron), Jo Bell, Ronald Tamplin (The Charles Causley Trust) and Tracey Guiry (CEO, Literature Works) Photo: Paul McVeigh (paulmcveigh.blogspot.co.uk)

The Charles Causley Trust is delighted to announce the winners of the first ever Charles Causley Poetry Competition, in aid of the continuing project to renovate the late poet’s house in Launceston, Cornwall and supporting an on-going programme of Writing Residencies and Literature events.

The competition closed in November 2013, and offered a top prize of £3000 with runners up prizes of £500 and £100. Sir Andrew Motion judged the competition and presentation to the winners by Sir Andrew was held on 28th January 2014.

• 1st Prize of £3000 was awarded to Jo Bell for ‘The Icicle Garden’

• 2nd Prize of £500 was awarded to Dorothy Coventon for ‘The River Trevillet’

• 3rd Prize of £100 was awarded to Simon Pomery for ‘Love Poem to Black Pudding’

To read the winning poems click here

Shortlisting, Sir Andrew also highly commended the following poems:

• Once in Wapping’ by John Gallas

• ‘Fishing in the Khabur River, Syria’ by Roger Elkin

• ‘Sea-Change’ by Ama Bolton

Discussing Jo Bell’s winning poem, Sir Andrew said, “The special strength of this poem is its ability to move quickly and gracefully between its component parts and to combine this economy with definite details. The combination means the poem feels light but solid at the same time – and it has some beautiful realisations as well.”

Jo Bell

Jo Bell

Jo Bell works as a poet across the UK undertaking projects, residencies and commissions. Formerly the director of National Poetry Day, she has been a tutor for the Poetry School and Chateau Ventenac, a lecturer in Creative Writing at MMU Crewe and a poet in residence for Glastonbury Festival, the National Trust and Royal Derby Hospitals. Currently the UK Canal Laureate, appointed by the Poetry Society and Canal and River Trust, she lives aboard a 67ft narrowboat in the Midlands.

“In recent months I’ve been writing rather different and new material,” says Jo, “It’s very encouraging to have that new direction validated by a prize as significant as the Charles Causley prize. To be given the prize in its first year as a major new prize for adult poets, is a particular privilege.”


Dorothy Coventon

Dorothy Coventon was born in Cumbria and has lived in Cornwall for many years. Dorothy became a member of Falmouth poetry group in 2002 where the founder Peter Redgrove was a major inspiration. She is a member of Indian Kings Poets, and Liskeard Poetry Group and has read at the Bodmin and Port Eliot festivals.

simon pomery

Simon Pomery

Simon Pomery lives in London. His recent work has been published by Edinburgh Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and The White Review. A new pamphlet of work, Defence Against a Knife Attack, is due in 2014.

Trustee of The Charles Causley Trust
Ronald Tamplin said, ““The Charles Causley Trust is delighted to award the first prizes in this new competition in Charles’s name. We congratulate our winners and wish to thank our Patron Sir Andrew Motion for his expert judging, and our partners Literature Works for managing the competition on our behalf. We would also like to express our gratitude to all the poets who entered the competition.”

Tracey Guiry CEO of Literature Works said, “Poetry prizes can be an important part of a poet’s professional development and Literature Works is delighted to be managing such a prestigious new Prize which helps us support new talent.”

The further, full short-listing is as follows:

‘A Friend’s Elegy for Leonhard Euler’ and ‘Ghosts’ Victor Tapner

‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ Isabel Rogers

‘Inheritance’ and ‘Roman Amphitheatre, Chester’ Judith Taylor

‘A Stranger Asks The Time’ Gina Wilson

‘Salt’, ‘Accidental Shadows’ and ‘Song of You’ Rose Flint

‘Passed’ John Greenberg

‘Down Among the Shedmen’ and ‘My British Teeth’ Mark Fiddes

‘Gurney’ and ‘Lost’ Penelope Shuttle

‘In the beginning was the hinney’ James Greene

‘The Eggs’ Elizabeth Burns

‘I have only this breath … for my wings’ and ‘The Bone’ Sharon Black

‘The Real Thing’ Judy Brown

‘Keble College Car Park on Christmas Eve’ Colin Heber-Percy

‘Isaac’ Anne Connolly

‘Il ritrovamento di Giuseppe’ and ‘Two Views of the Lacemaker’ Richard Skinner

‘Shotgun Wedding to the Moon’ Kirsten Irving

‘The Hillside’ Kerry Darbishire

‘Cadbury Hill Fort’, ‘Irises/(Coda), ‘The Alyscamps (Leaf-Fall), ‘Perseus’ and ‘Stained Glass and Isla’ Fiona Benson

‘Rhoda Bunyon was Six’ Richard Baker

‘Alcuin Crosses The River’ Lesley Saunders

‘American Trucks’ Ann Pilling

‘In Scotland, there’s a new course:’ and ‘Sometimes, in this glittering world’ Virginia Astley