Poetry Competition

Judges reports

Roger McGough

Having put on my judge’s wig and gown, I sit and joyfully read through the entries for this, the first Artemesia Poetry Prize.
With a wide variety of styles and subject matter, the standard was particularly high, which made whittling down the final selection almost impossible. So many poems, so many difficult choices. But as poets must write, so judges must judge, and I finally reached a verdict.
My congratulations to the winners and to all the poets who took part. It was a privilege to read your poems, and I feel the wiser for it.

Sheila Schofield Large

It was a great honour for me to work as co-judge with Roger on our competition. Although he suits the wig and gown better than I do, we were of one mind with regards to the winners and those poems that were highly commended.

This is not to say that the other entries didn’t give them a run for their money. The choice of subjects was indeed wide, although there was a surprising pattern of time passing. This showed up as clocks and watches, time running out and the end of time – with death a fairly frequent visitor. Even life after time got a look in with a number of ghosts haunting the pages.

Our runner-up, Asteria Responds to Pension Talk, by Lizzi Linklaker, allows times to suspend while all sorts of poetic oddities occur; its co-runner-up, Bequeath, by Max Fishel, evokes a different time bringing it, movingly, back to the poet’s reality. And the overall winner, Algorithm, by Philip Bellamy, takes us into parallel universes before summing up the present world neatly in a few deft lines where every word serves its time well.

Our highly-commended poems and those chosen for our anthology gave us joy and challenges in equal measure. Thank you to you all for sharing your poetry; the writing of which can only ever be time well spent.

Winner, runners-up, highly commended and final list of poems for the Artemesia Arts Anthology

We have had a tremendous response to the inaugural Artemesia Arts Poetry Competition 2023 and we would like to thank you all for your entries. The judges chose a shortlist of 50 poems, the quality of which was very high. From this they have now selected a total of 34 poems to include in the Artemesia Arts anthology 2023, including of course the overall winner, two runners-up and any poems which deserve a high commendation.

Artemesia Arts 2023 final list of 34 poems to be published in an anthology.

Philip Bellamy Algorithm Winner
Max Fishel Bequeath Runner Up
Lizzi Linklater Asteria Responds to Pension Talk Runner up
Max Fishel England is a hard place Highly Commended
Lizzi Linklater Air Test on a Building Highly Commended
Lawrence McDowell Bridges and Clocks Highley Commended
Charlie Mawer The Bench at Beer Highly Commended
Sally Stanford Bitter Lemons Highly Commended
Steve Stevenson Ghost Box Highly Commended
Christian Ward Siberia Highly Commended
Judith Wozniak Caring for Frida Highly Commended
Tim Armstrong Wrong One
Alice Brooker Abroad in Thought
Pete Concahsmith A monster’s Anatomy, Part 1
Bal Dhillon Bird droppings in milk bottles
Francesca Duffield Girl in black, Andalucia
Steven Duggan Broken?
Derek Ferguson Clever
Eileen Ann Gordon Family Traits
Yasmin Inkersole Çay bahçesi – The Tea Garden
Yasmin Inkersole Nothing Ground-Breaking
Pam Job Threnody on the Death of Lorca
Sue Kindon Oiling the Chain
Lizzi Linklater Synaesthete
Frank Lowry Ghost Town
Mike Mackillop-Hall Walking with Aristotle along Aberdeen beach
Jennifer Phillips The Dandelion Clock
Katarzyna Piecuch April Blooms With Red
Anthony Powers An Order
Martin Rieser House of Thorns
Derek Sellen The Writer Abroad
Shi-Min Sun [To The Other Side: Wheeled and Drenched]
Marcus Tickner November was a month
Judith Wozniak Artist with a Scalpel

Our Judges

 Our judges include one of Britain’s best loved poets, Roger McGough.

Poet, performer, broadcaster, children’s author and playwright, Roger is one of Britain’s best-loved poets. He is the presenter of Poetry Please on BBC Radio 4 and is President of The Poetry Society. He was awarded an OBE in 1997 and the CBE in 2004 for services to poetry. Roger has garnered numerous literary awards during his long career. His use of wordplay, humour, irony and pathos ensures the popularity of Roger’s work with a wide audience and has secured his place both in the Oxford Book of 20th Century Verse, and in the literary cannon of 21st century poetry.

Roger will work closely with our other judge Sheila Schofield Large.

Sheila is co-founder and president of Artemesia Arts, which she created with poet Kate Rose in 2021.  Their aim is to promote poetry, literature and the arts in the beautiful area of South West France where they live.  Sheila’s work has been placed in several poetry competitions – Poetry News, Poetry Society Stanza, York Poetry Prize, The Poetry Kit – who have also featured her in their Caught in the Net series (no. 197).  She has been broadcast on poetry programmes in the UK and in France and has two chapbooks published by Mosaique Press, Thin Ice, (2019) and The Vastness of the Sky (2022).

The judges looked for poems that intrigue, surprise and delight; that throw caution to the wind and make them catch their breath in astonishment. That force them to return to the poem again and again to delight in its subterfuge.