New West Sussex poetry competition will support bereavement charity

Belinda Wilkins shows Michael Spike Milligan the items that sparked her Cruse Lines Poetry Writing Competition
Belinda Wilkins shows Michael Spike Milligan the items that sparked her Cruse Lines Poetry Writing Competition
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A new West Sussex poetry competition will help raise awareness of the Bereavement Care charity CRUSE.

It comes with a theme inspired by Bob Dylan.

Belinda Wilkins, who came up with the idea, said: “The 2017 Cruse Lines Poetry Writing Competition has now been launched, waiting to receive entries from writers of all ages. With two classes, adults and under 18, the organisers have created two sections, leaving the choice of subject to the writer in Section 1 Any Subject, but for some writers who need a focus the word Home has been given as a theme for Section 2.

“With different classes for adults and children under 18 it means that four winners will be able to claim first prizes of £50 each with £5 each for second and £10 for the third prize winners.

“Poetry can be written for many different reasons. Bob Dylan put words together to create his songs which have just enabled him to be declared winner of the 2016 Noble prize for literature. A memorable piece of his work is his chorus for Like a Rolling Stone.

How does it feel, how does it feel?

To be on your own, with no direction home

A complete unknown, like a rolling stone.

“It was these words that made me choose the word ‘Home’ as a theme after finding my original vinyl copy of Dylan and playing it again for the first time in about 45 years! Also in the loft was a copy of my mother’s poems written as a teenager in the war which she titled All My Own Work. Also found in the loft was a very well-read Golden Treasury of Poems which I loved as a child.”

Belinda has always preferred reading poetry to any other form of literature: “These items sparked the idea in my mind of the poetry writing competition whilst thinking of a way to raise awareness of the Bereavement Care charity CRUSE but also thinking of a way to raise funds to help this charity support those needing help. The chairman of West Sussex Area Michael ‘Spike’ Milligan said that in the last year CRUSE volunteers in West Sussex helped nearly 700 people to cope with their bereavement including almost 50 children. The proceeds of this competition will help fund their dedicated work.

“Cash prizes totalling £350 have been kindly donated to the competition by anonymous donors and it is hoped that in the future sponsorship will enable it to become an annual poem attracting entrants from all over the world. It was felt it would be easier for the judges if all poems were written in English! An anthology of poems is being planned for the future.

“Poems need not be the max length of 40 lines. Sometimes four lines with words carefully composed can make a poem memorable. Competitors can enter as many as four poems.”

The closing date is February 1 2017 with results announced in the first week of March when the judge Sara Hutton Potts with organiser Belinda will have read each one and chosen the prize winners. Results will be published in The West Sussex Gazette.

Details and entry forms can email cruselinespoetrycompetition@gmail.com or can be downloaded from special Facebook Page 2017 Cruse Lines Poetry Competition which will be filled with news and updates.

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