send me your heart



I am excited and pleased and honoured to be the judge of the 2014 Poetry in the Waiting Room Poetry Competition.

The competition is open for entries now and closes at the end of February 2014.

If you don’t know what Poetry In The Waiting room is, read all about it HERE. It’s a wonderful project organised by the fabulous, energetic and passionate poet Ruth Arnison.

Full details of the competition HERE.


Ruth has pointed out that in the past the competition attracted submissions ABOUT waiting rooms, or medical conditions, or doctors….but the point of the leaflets is to DISTRACT and cheer or uplift people, rather than to dwell on the circumstances of their being in the waiting room!

Ruth says:

‘We’re not looking for poems about medical issues/scenarios. We’re more likely to choose poems which are upbeat, aren’t  complicated and leave the reader feeling happier about themselves and the world.

Our aim, with every card, is to select poems which will take readers away from the sometimes quite stressful or anxious wait they may be experiencing.’


As I’m judging, you might want to know what is likely to catch my eye.

One way to do this would be to read my book, The Comforter.

+ here is a little bit of information about my tastes in poetry.

I like writing that aims to connect (rather than to befuddle, to show off, to parade the poet’s intellect). Poetry which has emotion in it which is expressed in an original way, which displays a love of words through explorative, playful, deft, startling, unpredictable language and precise, transporting imagery. I like to be surprised, to be delighted and I like poetry which veers off in different directions, emotionally. Poems which end up somewhere different from where they began. I like poems which are funny and dark all at once. Or just funny. Or just dark.

Does that help? Maybe that is just confusing.

Either way, I am so excited to read the all the entries early next year. (This is not my first time judging poetry competitions – I have judged competitions for children, teenagers and adults before so have had some experience. I don’t know why I felt I had to mention that – I guess I am suddenly conscious that hopeful poets might be reading this, so I need plead my experience. Ha ha!)

Send me your heart! Your plastic heart. Or your fresh and bloody one. Or maybe just send me your poems. I am so lucky, so honoured to get to read them. I can’t wait!



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