Down to Earth

The dream is over. In 2011, 2014 and 2015 i went to Guernsey, to collect poetry prizes won in their competition Poems on the Move. that means the lucky poem goes on a bus, but also gets displayed in the ariport, to greet you as you get off the plane. It has been a lovely ride, and I can't complain, but it's finally over. Ian MacMillan has looked at this year's entry, awareded three prizes and three commendations, with a total of thirty poems being displayed on various buses around the island - and I am nowhere. This is, of course, the defauit position for poetic competitors all over the country. I've been there before, and now i'm back again I dare say I shall survive. I feel slightly more resilient and detached, having had another taste of the process from the other side, shortlisting poems for the Wenlock Poetry Festival so that Don Paterson can decide the winners. three of us looked at 560 poems, and ended up sending DP a batch of twenty. Really pleasant, interesting and time-consuming, but nothing like an exact science. Three other poets might well have come to very different conclusions. We know that before we start, but it does no harm to rediscover it. The competitive icing is tasty and  - in brief doses - a boost for the ego, but its still icing. Back to the cake.