Rowena Cooper and Elisabeth Sennitt Clough share first place in the 2018 Shooter Poetry Competition for imaginative poems with strong ideas, precise language and transporting imagery.
Cooper’s poem, “A Divorcee Talks Through Block Universe Theory”, draws on the concept of permanent past and present time to endow a scene of marital separation with much greater perspective. Cooper, who lives in Oxford, was commended in the 2017 Winchester Poetry Prize, and is currently working on a poetry collection about love, consciousness, and neolithic art. Her first play, After Aulis, will be performed at this year’s Brighton Festival after debuting at Stratford-upon-Avon last year.
Clough’s poem, “The Butterfly and the Stone”, employs a mystical tone and natural imagery to illuminate another marital relationship, this time in a context of intimacy. Clough has published several poetry collections – the most recent, At or Below Sea Level, recommended by the Poetry Book Society – and has published poetry in The Forward Book of Poetry 2018, The Rialto, Poem, Mslexia, Wasafiri, Magma, The Cannon’s Mouth and Stand. She also edits The Fenland Reed, an East Anglian poetry magazine.
Isabella Mead came runner-up in the competition for her poem “African Night”, with its elegant depiction of walking home in a remote landscape. Mead spent two years as a teacher trainer in a Rwandan village before returning to the UK to work at The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and The Story Museum in Oxford. Her poetry was highly commended in the 2016 Bridport Prize, longlisted in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and commended in the 2018 Cafe Writers competition.
All of these poems appear on Shooter’s website, but the joint winners will also be published in the forthcoming print edition of the magazine (issue #9: Rivalry) in a few weeks’ time. Congratulations to all three poets, and if you wish to see the winning poems laid out rather more accurately than WordPress templates allow, please do subscribe here to order the print edition!