The RSPB and The Rialto are thrilled to announced today the winner of their first ever poetry competition as Pat Winslow with her poem entitled, 'East Sabino Sunrise Circle – the visit'.
The entries came in from all over the world, astounding the RSPB and The Rialto in their quest to pick a winner. In total 3778 poems were received from 18 countries.
Pat Winslow said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have won this. I’ve been writing poetry all my life, but I only took it up seriously in 1987. I suppose nature features quite a lot in my work, so it’s not difficult to pick a poem for a competition like this.
East Sabino Sunrise Circle might seem like a bit of a weird title! It’s in Tucson where my sister lived before she died. Once the sun went down, anything could happen. On this occasion, a tarantula crawled over her wall. We were mesmerised. It’s not an animal I’d happily pick up, but I have enormous respect for them and they are incredibly delicate and graceful.”
The competition encouraged nature lovers and budding poets to wax lyrical about wildlife, enthuse about the environment and gush about green spaces in response to the competition theme, ‘Nature Poetry’.
Matthew Howard, RSPB Community Collections Scheme Officer said: “As there is so much great poetry written in response to wildlife and the great outdoors, we wanted this competition to champion the very best of the natural world.
Receiving the poems has been a real pleasure. They show how moved people are by nature and wildlife, how it makes us feel and think; crucially, these poems show exactly why nature, in all its forms, matters to people.”
The judges for the competition were former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion, and prize-winning nature writer from East Anglia, Mark Cocker.
Winner Pat Winslow will receive £1000 in prize money and all four winners will have their poems published in the UK’s leading independent poetry magazine, The Rialto.
An additional prize was awarded for fourth place, a personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wildlife places in East Anglia.
Rialto Editor Michael Mackmin says: “We are always looking for new poets and new poetry and this very different poetry competition was an ideal involvement for the magazine. The standard was, as the distinguished judges agreed, 'very high', and the response was wonderfully encouraging, both for the RSPB with its commitment to nature and for The Rialto with its commitment to poetry.”
For more information about the winning poems, please visit www.therialto.co.uk