The winner of the Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2011 has
been announced at a celebration evening at the wonderful Dominican
Priory in Canterbury on Thursday 6 October 2011. The evening was
attended by the short listed and long listed poets and their
guests. We were also delighted to have the new Canterbury
Laureate, Sarah Salway, in attendance and past Laureate, Patricia
Local poet, Marilyn Donovan took the top prize
for her memorable poem, Mapping a Kingfisher and she was
awarded a crate of wine and a book token from the sponsor
Second prize was awarded to Gillian Laker for
Off-Shore Breezes, and Isabella Devani
won third prize for To My Ex-Husband. Each received a
The high standard of readings on the night, posed a
dilemma for the judges and, in a break with tradition, they decided
to award two prizes for the Best Read on the night. A bottle of
champagne went to Derek Sellen for his moving
poem, The Mushroom Pickers and Felicity Ann
Cowie received a runner up prize of a bottle of wine for
her reading of My knitting is knitting itself - which she
accompanied with props of knitting needles and wool!
The judges for the evening were local poet, Maggie Harris and
Moyra Tourlamain, Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year 2010. The
evening was compered by Nick Hunt of the Canterbury Festival
Friends, who founded the event in 2007. Nick spoke of the difficult
task the judges had because of the very high standard of the
poetry, which seems to improve year after year.
The poetry readings by the shortlisted poets and by the judges,
were interspersed with musical delights from Richard Navarro,
talented local singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from
Over 150 entries were submitted for this year's competition.
Thirty-nine poems made the judges' long-list and have been included
in a poetry booklet. Priced at £3, it is available from the
Canterbury Festival Office, 8 Orange Street, Canterbury.