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Winners of the National Poetry Competition announced | 03-Apr-10

Leading novelist and poet Helen Dunmore has won this year's National Poetry Competition, organised by The Poetry Society. First prize of £5,000 was awarded for her poem 'The Malarkey'.

Dunmore said of receiving the news: "I've written very few poems over the past four years... but now I have the feeling that there is the kernel of a new collection. It is a
great boost to receive the prize - a confirmation."

Judges Daljit Nagra, Ruth Padel and Neil Rollinson were captivated, as Padel explains: "This poem sprang out at me at once, on first read-through, from ten and a half thousand poems, because of the surprising focus it gave, linguistically, imaginatively and emotionally, on something that was not there. It was not showy. I found it completely arresting in its
quietness; in the hidden strength of what it was saying so unobtrusively."

Second prize (£1,000) was won by Ian Pindar for 'Mrs Beltinska in the Bath'. He has two collections, Emporium and Constellations, both forthcoming from Carcanet.

John Stammers was awarded third prize (£500) with 'Mr Punch in Soho'. The poem will appear in his third collection, Interior Night, published by Picador in April.

Commendations were awarded to Julie Collar, Peter Kahn, Valerie Laws, Neil Lockwood, J.P. Nosbaum, Frank Ortega, Sam Riviere, Cherry Smyth, Jon Stone and Jane Yeh.

For more information and to read the poems, visit the Poetry Society's website at

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