Sunday, 9 October 2016

Poems reach new heights in national and local competitions

A great celebration of words!

With over 200 entries from all over the country to their 2016 competitions, organisers of Settle’s National Poetry Day celebrations have declaimed them a great success.

Winners were presented with their prizes at Victoria Hall in a special evening organised by Settle Sessions.

The national competition attracted entries from throughout the country. First prize went to Jenna Plewes from Alvechurch with ‘Driving Home’, second prize to Jenny Morris from Norwich with ’Box Room’ , and Maggie How from Grange-over-Sands took third prize with ’Between us’. Also commended in the competition were Tricia Robinson from Settle, Jane Eagland from Lancaster, Joan Butler from Austwick, Kerry Darbishire of Kendal, David Smith from Middlesbrough and Rona Laycock from Avening.
Hannah Chapman and judge Kathy Swinscoe
In the North Craven Primary Schools competition, Hannah Chapman from Giggleswick Primary came first,
Lauren Taylor

Harry Armstrong

Erin Hutt-Holgate and Max Clark
Lauren Taylor from Bentham School was second and third prize was won by Joel Monks from Giggleswick Primary. Commended young poets were Maisy Baillie, Harry Armstrong, Tom Birkett-Bentley, Max Clark & Erin Hutt-Holgate,
Tom Birkett-Bentley
Edie Eccleston and Dylan Lightbody

Joan Butler with judge Ann Pilling

Craven’s funniest poem in the 2016 competition was won by Joan Butler from Austwick with her poem ‘Hawk Talk’.

To conclude the evening, Settle Sessions brought together established poets John Killick of Settle and Yorkshire poet Michael McCarthy. They delivered amusing, touching, deep and accessible work based on their life experiences from Ireland to Settle. We look forward to hearig much more from them in the future.

An anthology of the winning and commended (in the national competition) poems is available at £3 each (plus £1.50p&p). Please contact John Killick on

Michael McCarthy

Judge and main reader John Killick with Tricia Robinson

Kerry Darbishire
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The world, pink poppies and the rain

There was a packed audience at The Folly for the third Settle Session of the year. The poems shared gave us insights into what others notice about the world, their reactions to it and what touches them deeply.
Poets Isobel Thrilling and Pauline Yarwood drew from their extensive writing. 
Isobel’s selection came from observations during childhood about a North York moors mining village, her interest in quantum physics, disturbing ‘pink’ poppies and how to look more favourably on rain ‘there’s an art to listening to rain’.
Pauline’s poems responsed to living in The Lyth Valley, ‘the importance of nature over human concerns’, the rebukes of family in ‘Mary Ann’ and injustice with ‘Clinical Notes’, ‘the careless shredding of his life’.
Barbara Bowman read Hugh Crane’s ‘Forgetfulness’ and Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’. 

John Rose focused on teenage rebellion with Irene Rawnsley’s ‘Purple Shoes’ and Ian MacMillan’s unentitled ‘can’t be bothered to give a title’. Kathy Swinscoe and
Olwyn Bolger connected with childhood for Walter de la Mere’s ‘The Listener’ and ‘I saw three Witches’; and from a much treasured childhood poetry book ‘Stars and Primroses’ for Laurence Binyon’s ‘The Little Dancers’ and Edward Thomas’ ‘Adelstrop’.

Sarah Wiltshire 9th September 2016