Poetry Competitions

Ver Poets Open Competition 2016

Adjudicator: Andrew McMillan


This year’s Open Competition was judged by Andrew McMillan. Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988 and lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University. His debut collection, physical, was a Poetry Book Society recommendation, shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. He has contributed to The Echo Chamber on BBC Radio 4 and Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3. He is one of the judges for the 2015 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

First Prize: Ornithology: Barn Owl by L. A. Watt

Second Prize: The hospital café is almost empty by Margaret Wilmot

Third Prize: Birdspotting in Palmyra by Maeve Henry

Highly Commended:

  • West Kilburn by Deirdre Shanahan
  • This year by Neil Elder
  • Go for a 15 minute walk… by Adrian Buckner


  • The Very Skin that Hurts by Geraldine Clarkson
  • Loss by Alexandra Davis
  • The Heron by Peter Cash
  • Manhood by Simon Bowden


  • Dr Who of the ice-box by Ian McEwen
  • I took Frank O’Hara to bed last night by Maria Isakova Bennett
  • The sadness of gift shops by Bryony Littlefair
  • The year she asked for a scrubbing brush for Christmas by Bryony Littlefair
  • The town we went to by Bryony Littlefair
  • Wait by Peter Wallis
  • Tuscan Church by Sylvia Banham
  • Delivery by Cheryl Foo
  • Dirty Magic by Mark Fiddes
  • Watershed During Lunch-Hour by Neil Elder
  • Wooing Lumber by Karen Francis
  • The Proportions of Pity by David Sutton
  • E Ferro Ferrum Temperatum by Malcolm Watson
  • The Lab Technician’s Skin by Beth Somerford
  • Ringed Plovers by Tista Austin
  • Learning to Swim (at 23) by Remi Graves
  • Old Pub Furniture by Nick Pearson
  • Potatoes by Greg Smith
  • Quartet for the end of Music lessons by Melanie Stephenson
  • Choosing to live near the sea by Jenny Vuglar
  • School milk by Jennifer Hunt
  • Regatta by Jean Watkins
  • Clinging by Lewis Coyne
  • Berth by Sharon Black 
  • Trawling photos of David Bowie sporting eye-liner  by Roger Elkin
  • Daffodils by Anne Boileau
  • Kathleen by Kaye Lee
  • The animals, two by two by Caroline Davies

Our competition anthology, The Ver Prize 2016, includes all of the above poems and Andrew McMillan’s report. All those included will receive a copy. Further copies  can be ordered by sending a cheque for £4 (plus £1 p&p), made payable to Ver Poets, to 181 Sandridge Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4AH.

Ten Liners Members Competition 2015 – Results

Adjudicator: Anne Stewart

  • First Prize:  Close the Door Softly – Finola Holiday
  • Joint Second:  Dreaming of dolphins – Christopher Delaney
  • Joint Second:  The days – Anna Aveburye

 Highly Commended:

  • Up The Garden Path – A.C.Clarke
  • Inmate–Muriel Towell
  • Rough Night at Sea- Valerie Morton
  • Spring Comes – Kaye Lee


  • Peace bell–Rosemary Muncie
  • I’d Say–June English
  • Poem for John–Sylvia Banham
  • Remembrance – Selwyn Veater
  • After Hearing Vivaldi… – Selwyn Veater
  • Sunshaft – A.C.Clarke
  • Meeting – A.C.Clarke
  • Nights – Muriel Towell
  • Damage limitation – Diana Pritchard
  • There are words still waiting–Kevin Maynard
  • Vase–Isobel Thrilling
  • Missing – Kaye Lee
  • October Rose–Bob Niblett
  • Spring–Pat Watson
  • “I have a little neck”–Laura Garratt
  • Blue Lightening – Laura Garratt
  • Instant–Susan Skinner
  • Borrowing books… – Terry Jones
  • Juvenilia – Terry Jones
  • Christmas Decoration – Daphne Schiller
  • Voyage – David Jones
  • Under Two–Helen Lovelock-Burke
  • The Airing Cupboard–Roy Batt
  • Poets have been mysteriously… – Viv Mcmanus
  • The Only Thing–Simon Bowden
  • September apples–Beliz McKenzie
  • Small comforts – Beliz McKenzie
  • The Pianist–Katherine Gallagher
  • Rock and Roll–Anna Avebury

All those included will receive a copy of the anthology. Further copies can be ordered by sending a cheque for £3 per copy, made payable to Ver Poets, to 181 Sandridge Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4AH. Postage free.

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