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Canterbury Festival 2021: Poet of the Year Winner

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year is Freya Bantiff for her poem Timepiece.  The result was announced at the Awards Evening on National Poetry Day, 7 October.

Second prize went to The Equine Attraction is Closing by Mark Totterdell and third was Lemon Drops in the Pocket of My Father’s Overcoat by Maeve McKenna.

In addition prizes were awarded for the Best-Read poem which was won by James Knox-Whittet reading his poem My Shameless Lips, and for the People’s Choice, the favourite poem in the Anthology voted for by the audience, was, for the first time, a draw and two prizes were awarded to Diana Cant and Gary Studley for their poems On Brighton Beach and  Rain, respectively. 

The Judges’ notes about the shortlisted poems are available to read here and the poems themselves, along with all the other longlisted poems, may be found in the Poet of the Year 2021 Anthology available from the Festival Office for £5.

We send our congratulations to all the winners and thank everyone who entered.  Watch out for the Poet of the Year Competition 2022 which will be launched in March.

As always our judges provided some brilliant feedback. To find out more, download our judges’ comments here.