Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2022 Winners
Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and around the world. It is now firmly established as a premier opportunity for poets to showcase their work. The future generations who explore this growing collection will gain a vivid picture of the poetic views of our age.
Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions... Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry."
I attended a pro-Democracy rally in Westminster Square in the early months of 2022. There were around 30 of us, on a cold, damp Saturday. While I'm angry about the way the way the public are being treated by the current government, it seemed very British that we'd only confront the powers-that-be if the sun was out.
by Kendra Mills
I wrote this poem in April of 2022, as I was coming to grips with the repercussions of the pandemic and my continued sense of detachment, which in many ways recalled my experience of the year following my father's death. In a broader sense, this poem addresses survival, and the sacrifices therein.
by Chiwenite Onyekwelu
I was born tender. As a kid, one of the things I desired most was a father's love, and seeing my father come home drunk and unconcerned most nights is perhaps the most traumatic experience of my childhood. But Love was the inspiration behind this poem— those little things he did that I almost didn't see; that were beautiful in themselves.
Well this poem was written and inspired by the amount of insecurity that is eating up my hometown. So I felt the need to put pen unto paper and meander every which way towards freedom, towards safety. I needed something to hold onto, so I felt the need to explore home as water, its healing effects. Home as water; its ability to drown.
by Graham Clifford
This is sci-fi daydream about needing some hope and trying to generate it. It comes from the reliance we have on tech and how we look to it for more than it can give us. It's also about short-circuiting and disrupting the flow of things, trying to get something better all the time, and confronting a full stop. And I suppose it is about working out when enough is enough; when do we give up on something? I think of Borges when I read this poem.
by Julia Deakin
On the first walk after the invasion of Ukraine, the landscape I had got to know and love even more during Lockdown, suddenly looked more vulnerable: overlaid with images of devastation. In the face of tyrants the foundations of peace in Europe, established at the Treaty of Versailles, are as fragile as the products of civilisation... as illusory as mirrors.
by Amílcar Sanatan
I lost several friends in 2022. They were all young men who died due to the COVID-19 virus, suicide and other health related complications. Now that I work full-time in East Port-of-Spain and work actively to intervene in the increasing violence and gang wars which afflict communities, I have become more conscious about the precariousness of human life. Many, especially young men, die and 'disappear' in our communities. I grieve for them all.
by Dami Ajayi
This prose poem is a tribute to migration and its irreparable disruption. I moved to the UK a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic and it has been an interesting time. This poem tries for a humorous take on what a model immigrant is. I doubt that they exist.
by Pamela Crowe
'Boy cut' is a work about body and sexuality, gender and power. It's about how I felt when I cut my hair age 19, the invisibility it gave me and therefore power and liberation to exist outside the sexual economy. The work asserts the body as a private space, not one managed by others. It's about freedom from systems that state sexuality has to be on show for women to have value. It's about how I saw my body then. How I see it now.
by Rachel Davies
This is a protest poem. It was inspired--although I wish it hadn't been--by HM Government's cavalier attitude to its role, in particular the blatant disregard for its own Covid regulations and unwillingness to admit these errors; also the Carlton Club scandal, and PM's shocking attitude to discipline among party members; lastly, his resignation from office, baby son in shot, with a failure to accept responsibility for his own poor leadership.
by Ubaldimir Guerra
This poem pays tribute to the late musician and carrier of the Belize Kriol musical tradition known as Brukdown music. It offers a sense of the instruments and sounds involved in this genre while providing a historical and cultural context to its development as a form of resistance. The performance is accompanied by the musician Alexander Evans who recorded the background music.
by Nicholas McGaughey
After Christmas lockdown 2020. We met up and had a Xmas dinner, in the yard of an old school, halfway between Rhondda and London where our family live. After presents were opened the kids pretended the van was a sleigh. As they left we waved and felt sad because we'd missed them leaving only their names on tags left behind
by Dean Gessie
by Nairn Kennedy
by Richard Downes
The tanka form was learned at a facebook group called The Daily Haiku which provides daily prompts. I aim to respond to the prompts five days a week and I prefer to unify my responses during this working week. I consider that this poem has four themes my past working life, my relationship, climate chaos and the idea of a race towards something/someone special.
by Lisa Mulleneaux
by Fokkina McDonnell
by Ojo Taiye
Although widely referenced in popular culture as a victim of Big Oil, corruption, and pollution, Ogoniland remains one of the most beautiful and biodiverse ecosystems in the world. However, chronic oil spillages and waste dumping is turning Ogoniland into a living hell for millions of its indigenes. We dig for the 'black gold' to give us freedom and comfort but who can liberate us from the abyss it has created.
by Lena Zycinsky
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This Year's Judges
Joelle Taylor is a poet, playwright & author. She became the UK Slam champion in 2000 and founded SLAMbassadors, the UK national youth Slam championship, where she served as artistic director & coach 2001 to 2018. Published works include Songs My Enemy Taught Me (Out-Spoken Press, 2017), The Woman Who Was Not There (Burning Eye, 2014) and Ska Tissue (Mother Foucault Press, 2011).
Her latest collection, C+nto: & Othered Poems (The Westbourne Press, 2021) stands as a landmark monument to the butch lesbian communities of the 90s, their rich inner mythologies and the persistent threats they have faced down with the raw morality of refusal and self-love, as well as their lives & bodies. It won the T.S Elliot prize in 2021.
Robert has four poetry collections: Travelling to the Fish Orchards, On the Beach with Chet Baker, Writing King Kong, all from Seren; and The Book of Snow from Two Rivers Press. The Museum of Everything is forthcoming from Seren in 2021.
He has won awards and nominations from the National Poetry Competition, London Poetry, Forward Poetry Prize and Housman Poetry Prize.
Robert was Chairman of The Poetry Trust and is Chairman of The Poetry Archive.
He works for the BBC as Head of BBC History.
Lavinia is an editor of poetry at Faber & Faber.
She is the author of the poetry pamphlet Ornaments: a handbook (If a Glyph Falls Press, 2020) and co-editor of Try To Be Better (Prototype, 2019), a creative-critical engagement with the poet W. S. Graham.
Her poetry explores the creative process, artifice and materiality, and has appeared in various magazines, journals and anthologies.
Lavinia joined the Poetry Archive as a Trustee in 2019.
A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.
Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions. I have said before that to write a poem is an act of resistance but to then perform it as well is a revolution. It takes a bravery to face the page, and a further one to stand by your words. While we’ve all become more used to filming ourselves over the pandemic, all of us were deeply aware of that courage.
Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry.
Our honest applause goes to all who submitted, and I hope you can hear it.
Congratulations to those we selected. We hope to see you all again soon."Watch the full Wordview 2022 playlist