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Canterbury Festival 2021: Poet of the Year Shortlist

We’re pleased to reveal the poems chosen to be shortlisted for this year’s Poet of the Year Award.

All the Shortlisted poets have been invited to read their work at our Awards Evening on 7 October – National Poetry Day – at Chilham Village Hall from 8pm. Entry is free, and everyone is invited to join us.  It promises to be a lovely evening with readings of some fine and varied poetry, many by the poets themselves. There will be awards for the winner, second, and third place. Furthermore awards will be given for the Best-Read poem, and the People’s Choice, the audience’s favourite poem in the Anthology as voted for at the event. Our great thanks go to Prof Geralyn Pinto for generously donating the first prize in memory of her late sister Rita Helen Dolores Mathias.  

The judges will comment on why they chose each of the shortlisted poems. Their comments will be put onto the Festival website after the winners are announced.

Anthologies will be available to purchase from the Festival Office shortly and at the Awards event.

Poet of the Year Shortlist 2021:

Warning; contains images that some viewers may find distressing – Freya Bantiff

Side Order – Freya Bantiff

Timepiece – Freya Bantiff

Ode to My Vocation – Partridge Boswell

The life of seagulls – Mike Burns-Stark

On Brighton Beach – Diana Cant

What I Told the Wren – Tina Cole

Monochromes – Tina Cole

Quietude – Martin Cordery

Growing – Kathleen Jones

Before – Kathleen Jones

Lemon Drops in the Pocket of My Father’s Overcoat – Maeve McKenna

Many Doors – Mary Anne Smith Sellen

Eleven Days – Gary Studley

Rain – Gary Studley

The Equine Attraction is Closing – Mark Totterdell

orlando/salmacis – Elizabeth Train-Brown

Starfish – Christian Ward

My Shameless Lips – James Knox-Whittet