"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Friday, January 28, 2011

Plough Prize for Children and a Great Theory

Dear Peter,
This is just to let you know that, although you haven’t won first prize, your poem ‘The Insect Man’ was short-listed for the ‘Poem for Children’ category of the Plough Prize, and formed part of the chapbook anthology that was distributed to the children of Great Torrington Junior School for judging. We asked the children to vote for their favourite poem, and also to tell us which was their second-favourite, just in case we needed a tie-breaker. ‘The Insect Man’ got 13 first place votes and 11 second place. We had 131 voting papers returned (a few of which were beyond interpretation!) and the vote was split between 14 poems, so that was a good showing – it was fourth-placed on first choices.
I’m sorry that you weren’t the winner this time. I think that your poem is excellent, but the judges’ word is final! However, we would very much like to publish this judges’ anthology (slightly amended to include the poets’ names and remove the judges’ notes) as a chapbook, and offer it for sale via our website and at the Plough Arts Centre. We would offer the poets six free copies each, and further copies at a reduce price (I haven’t yet had a chance to work out the details and costs, but I will be back in touch with them later if you agree to the idea in principle). In the next few days, I will put a copy of the judges’ booklet in the post to you, so that you can see roughly what the chapbook will look like. I don’t envisage huge sales, but it would be a shame not to make the poems available to the general public.
The full results will be on the website in the next couple of days. Congratulations on getting through to the short list, and many thanks for entering.
With best wishes,
The Plough Prize

Okay, first of all, I'm absolutely delighted with the news. It was actually one of the first poems wot I ever wrote over 20 years ago so its nice to see it recognised. And I am so happy that the judges were children, as a poetry prize for children ought to be.

And the theory? Well, the results are due out on the website on February 1st for the main Plough Prize, which is one of the biggie poetry prizes in these islands, so big in fact that they get billions of entries and you need to be an absolutely brilliant poet to be shortlisted, never mind win it.
And doubtless they have been in touch with the winner and told him, (or HER!!!) the news but probably asked him (OR HER!!!) to keep schtum until the results are up.
And the news on the grapevine is that a certain emerging writer, a brilliant poet herself, has won a poetry competition in the UK...
Two plus two anyone??

1 comment:

  1. Clever deducing, Peter. I think you could be on to something there!

    Another feather in YOUR cap too, and I absolutely agree about letting the children judge. Can't you just imagine the giggle-fest that ensued?