Chance to be the new Fenland Poet Laureate
The newly re-launched Fenland Poet Laureate competition has so far failed to attract any entries with organisers concerned the project may fall flat unless something changes.
Organiser Elizabeth Sennitt Clough, who with the help of local MP Steve Barclay, managed to secure £12,000 worth of funding from Arts Council England is hoping the next month will see an influx of entries for the competition, which was launched earlier this summer.
She said: “I am doing all this voluntarily. I love the arts and was deeply concerned about the lack of opportunities within the arts in this area. I set up the Fenland Arts Development Scheme and secured the £12,000 from the Arts Council with Mr Barclay’s help to encourage more interest in the arts in our area.
“It would be a travesty if no-one takes part in the competition, which has two categories; one for under 17s and one for adults.”
She said the previous Fenland Poet Laureate scheme faltered, when after the first couple of years, the accolade was awarded to people from outside of the district.
“We had several Fenland Poet Laureates who were living in Cambridge and that was not the point. This competition is open only to poets who currently live, attend school or work in Fenland/North East Cambridgeshire,” said Elizabeth, who is herself a successful published poet.
She added: “I have managed to get two prestigious judges; Wendy Cope and Lachlan Mackinnon, so now all we need is some entrants. I feel the lack of interest previously has been down to the poor publicity of the event.
“There are some great prizes and it will be a useful boost to a budding writer’s CV to say they have been the Fenland Poet Laureate. Winners and runners-up will be invited to a ceremony at the Rose and Crown Hotel in Wisbech on November 29 for the presentation with Mr Barclay opening and closing the ceremony.”
To be eligible, poems must be less than 40 lines and previously unpublished. Only one entry per poet. To enter send three hard copies of your entry to: Fenland Poet Laureate, PO Box 234, Wisbech PE14 4EZ. Closing date for entries is midnight on October 4.