I am delighted to share with you the wonderful news: I am one of five poets who have received a Northern Writers Award 2020 from New Writing North. The poetry entries were judged by Vahni Capildeo. They were said to be ‘highly impressed’.
New Writing North is a development agency that supports reading and writing in the North of England. It was established in 1996 to commission new work, create development opportunities, nurture talent, and make connections. Since 2000 NWN has also run the annual Northern Writers Awards. Funding for these awards comes from different sources, such as the Arts Council, TV’s Channel 4.
This year more than £45,000 was given to 26 winners from a record-breaking 1,800 entrants. I sent off my submission of 29 pages at the end of December. With everything that happened this year I had completely forgotten about it. I am going to spend the award money on getting a mentor as this current project is well outside my comfort zone.
The short poem below is the current title poem.
Remembering is like hay-fever:
there before you know it.
Other people unaffected and smiling.
Remembering is a disease
with a double-barreled name
and the GP whom you’ve waited
to see for at least a week
looks through you and says
she’s never heard of it.
It’s being back in a classroom,
you can’t read the blackboard sums
and the teacher is pointing at you.