Chichester poetry competition winners confirmed

The winners have been announced for Chichester’s new Wagtail Poetry Contest.

Lily Barkes
Lily Barkes

After much deliberation and time spent reading through the 75 entries, judges Laurel Collishe, Hugh Dunkerley and Ken Jones have confirmed the winners. The public was also invited to vote for the People’s Choice, and four awards were made in this category.

Wagtail owner Laurel Collishe said she was very satisfied with the response: “We were surprised by the volume of interest we received and delighted to have so many entries to choose from. The standard has been so high and decisions have been hard to make. Congratulations to everyone who entered and in particular to our winners!”

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The winning entries have been posted on Wagtail’s website, Instagram and Facebook as well as featuring in Chichester shop’s window display.

All the winners have been invited to be the featured readers at Ken Jones’s open mic Chichester Zooms on March 10.

Ken said: “They will be the first featured poets at this open mic, and we very much look forward to welcoming them to Chichester Zooms!

“They will be reading for an international audience as the open mic boasts readers from three English counties, Ireland, The United States and Mexico!”

Chichester Zooms will next be on March 10 at 18:30 and can be found on the link

The winners are: 18+, Lizzie Butler-Meadows; 14-18, Lily Barkes; U14, Seb Chatzopoulos

Honourable mentions were awarded to Anne Middleton, Sarah Buckingham and Rebecca Grove with the People’s Choice Awards going to Evangeline Fields-Baumer, Mike Jenkins, Isla Donaldson, and Joe Hanlon.

All winners are from Chichester except Seb who is from Hambrook.

14-18 winner Lily, aged 16, said: “I was so surprised to be a winner as there were so many brilliant entries.

“I visit Wagtail quite often, picking up a coffee while I am out walking my dog. When I saw the competition advertised I decided to have a go. Poetry isn't something that I have done much of, so it was good to have a little project; something to fill the time during lockdown. It also really gave me some perspective.

“It has been such a difficult time for many people and even though online learning and missing my friends has been tough, I am lucky that my family has stayed well. I am really grateful for the opportunity to have taken part and to the judges for choosing my poem. Walk by Wagtail is a great initiative, and I can't wait to see what fills the window next.”