Reflections on winning Poetry Archive Now! Wordview 2020
Winners of Poetry Archive Now! Wordview 2020 have sent us their thoughts on what it has meant to them to have poems in the collection and by way of encouragement to other poets.
I can’t emphasise enough how grateful I am that ‘New Cloth’ was given a place to speak in The Poetry Archive. Over the last year, more and more people have discovered it organically (just this week someone has pre-ordered my debut collection solely because of finding this reading) and I have no doubt this wouldn’t have happened quite as it did without it being amongst the winners of Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020.
I’ve had so many messages from people all over the world telling me that this poem made a difference in their lives, that it gave them hope and made them feel seen right when they really needed it, or that it let them think differently about things they didn’t understand. For me that’s worth a hundred competition wins.
This was never about making a list, it was about the very heart of connection – how poetry, given wings, and perhaps particularly with a very human face and voice attached to it, dissolves boundaries. I’ll be grateful forever for the far bigger journey The Poetry Archive has given this poem, and by association, the rest of my work.
Listen to Ankh’s wining poem New Cloth:
As one of the winners of Poetry Archive Now! Wordview 2020, it felt awesome to have a tag for our tiny Caribbean island, Dominica, on the archive for the first time and to see that a fellow Dominican writer had submitted an entry for 2021.
The team, especially, have been so encouraging and supportive, and exploring the archive itself has been truly inspiring; ‘discovering’ poets and poems that deeply resonate and in particular hearing the voices of poets who are no longer physically with us.
The only advice I would give to other poets is to courageously follow your own inner guide and enjoy the process and journey as much as possible; write what you feel is right, in the way you feel is right, at the time you feel is right and read what you are guided to read. You matter and what you uniquely bring to the world of words matters too.
Listen to Celia’s wining poem Weather Conditions:
It was great to be a part of the Poetry Archive WordView 2020, I liked the time -capsule element of it that people today and in the future can-tune in to; how we felt then, listening to our stories, checking out how we dressed, what our houses/gardens are like. In a couple of Zoom readings that I took part in last year the hosts had accessed The Winners Archive and had viewed my reading there and encouraged others to do so, which was very helpful to me in raising my profile from page to screen.
My advice to poets might be to work on the reading/recording/placing of the video that they make. Make sure that it is clear, and the tone is right. Do a few takes, pick the best….
Listen to Nicholas’s wining poem Avalon: