It is with great privilege that we introduce the winners of the 2021 Charles Causley International Poetry Competition to you! Read on to get to know each of our winning poets and read their fantastic poems.
1st Place Matthew Canavan: Read ‘Apropos of Nothing’ here.
I am Matthew Canavan, a social worker and sometime writer based in the East Midlands. Much to my chagrin, I find myself perpetually time poor: but I will, nonetheless, write both prose and poetry wherever and whenever I can. My work draws on themes of embodiment, marginalisation, and the ways in which the different spaces we inhabit manipulate our realities.
2nd Place Molly Twomey: Read ‘Knives We Used on Our Skin’ here.
Molly Twomey graduated with a Creative Writing MA from University College Cork. She runs an online poetry event, Just to Say, sponsored by Jacar Press. In 2021, she was awarded an Arts Council Literature Bursary. Her debut collection, Raised Among Vultures, was published in May 2022 by The Gallery Press.
3rd Place Emily Harrison: Read ‘Inherit the Wind’ here.
Image: Robin Christian
Emily Harrison is a writer and poet from Swindon. Her pamphlet ‘Grief Stitches’ is forthcoming with Makina Books. She lives and teaches in Hackney.
Honourable mention Juno Dunn: Read ‘Mothering Sunday’ here.
Image: Toby Lowe Photography
Since hearing Walter de la Mare’s The Listeners as a child, Juno has been fascinated by the lyrical storytelling powers of poetry. So it’s no surprise that her own work should be so strongly characterised by the narrative of experience – her own experience of growing up in urban Manchester, of motherhood, of loving, tenderness and joy, but not without a withering eye on aspects of life that fail to measure up to her expectation. Despite this lifelong affection for poetry, and gratitude for its contribution in her long career as a teacher, it was only the enforced seclusion of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 that spurred Juno to study poetry and poetic form in greater depth and breadth. And to begin finding her voice as a poet in her own right. As yet unpublished to the world beyond her own family and friends, Juno continues to write purely for the joy of it and as a medium of storytelling that creates a legacy to inform her children and grandchildren as well as future generations of her large family. Juno now lives in St Agnes, Cornwall, with Chris, her husband of 43 years.
You can read all of the winning poems via our online literary blog, The Maker.