Grey Hen Poetry Competition 2021 is now closed
Full results can be viewed on the Competitions page, including the shortlist, winning poems and judges report.
Not Past, but Through: poems about rivers
Lovely, Dark and Deep: poems about woods
Completing the chapbook series on the theme of landscape. For a special deal on the set of four, please email email@example.com
Measuring the Depth
The second in a chapbook series on the theme of landscape.
Of Some Importance
Reflected Light: responses to the creative arts
And new Hen Run chapbooks
This is What Happens by Hilary Elfick
Sightings by Rose Cook
Patterns of All Made Things by Sheila Aldous
Alternatives to public launches and readings
Since the publication of Measuring the Depth in March 2020, Covid has put a stop to all public launches and readings
Launch readings from Reflected Light took place as Zoom events. Many thanks to Hermione Sandall (in the Loop), Anne Stewart (poetry pf), Veronica Aaronson (Teigmouth Poetry) Lindy Newns, Jane Monach (Writers in the Bath), Hamish and Rebecca (The Garsdale Retreat), Fran Reader (Suffolk Poetry Society) and Rosemary Doman for keeping us going.
There was some press interest – in June 2020, Cumbria Life did a feature on Grey Hen Press and in July 2020 Magma 77 (‘Act Your Age’) featured an article about Grey Hen in the form of a conversation between Joy Howard and Christine Webb.
Online events – Joy spoke at the Magma launch on 18th August 2020. There were many very positive responses. On the same evening, as Grey Hen had been allocated a slot at the cancelled Teignmouth Festival in March, Teignmouth Poetry devoted an evening to a celebration of Devon-based Grey Hen poets: ‘Grey Hens Give Voice’. Many thanks are due to Jennie Osborne for organising this event.
Out of Context: An Anthology of ‘Found’ Poems
The literary equivalent of a collage, ‘found’ poems take existing texts and refashion them. Words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources are reframed, thus imparting new meaning. Sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly serious, all these poems make a telling point.
Further Than It Looks: Poems about Mountains
The first in a series of chapbooks on the theme of landscape.
And don’t forget this not-so-recent book with an unfortunately relevant theme:
Get Me Out of Here! Poems for Trying Circumstances
Click on ‘BOOKS’ to order online.
Postal address: PO Box 269, Kendal LA9 9FE.
Hen Run is Grey Hen’s chapbook imprint.
‘Hen Run gives older women an opportunity to get their work published. The project is unfunded and not for profit, so the deal is that I select submissions, edit, and prepare manuscripts for publication. Authors are responsible for printing costs, and for subsequent publicity, readings, and the bulk of sales, though the chapbooks will be featured on the website. The usual high production quality that Grey Hen has maintained applies!
As with Grey Hen, I’m limited with how much work I can take on so there isn’t an open submissions policy. so it’s by invitation or recommendation only. Several excellent poets who were well into their 70s and needed to have a leg-up onto that first rung of the publication ladder have started with a Hen Run chapbook and gone on to wider publication elsewhere. (NB if you are wanting to make a recommendation, please contact me yourself in the first instance for a discussion). I am also happy to consider proposals from any Grey Hen contributors who may have a particular sequence or group of poems that doesn’t fit easily into a collection – many Hen Run publications have originated that way too.’ Joy Howard
You can find all the Hen Run books, and how to order them, by following the ‘Hen Run‘ link on the Grey Hen homepage.
It was with great sadness that I heard of the death Rosemary McLeish.She had been a Grey Hen contributor from the first anthology A Twist of Malice, and her brave, funny and generous poems have featured in many Grey Hen anthologies since. A recent poem appears in Reflected Light, due out soon – a poem that itself reflects Rosie’s particularly Glaswegian touch for empathy and humour, and speaks for her special place among Grey Hens. Very much herself, as always, and she will be much missed.
GREY HENS AT LARGE
Moira Andrew two new collections – Looking Through Water published by Poetry Space in 2020 and Imagine a Kiss (Dempsey & Windle 2021). She runs monthly poetry workshops.
Denise Bennett Poems in anthologies: Poems for the Year 2020 (Shoestring Press), Locked Down (Poetry Space) and New Contexts (Coverstory Books). Commended in the Southdown Poetry Competition – Binsted Prize 2021. Highly Commended in Brian Demsey Memorial Prize Competition. Many poems included in U3A – In the Time of Corona (U3A Third Age Trust)and online at Portsmouth Literary Map.
Margaret Beston Following a significant fall in February 2020 she published a pamphlet, When the Ground Crashed Upwards, recording the event and the months that followed. This raised well over £1000 for the Air Ambulance Service.
Elizabeth Birchall has had some new poems published in Obsessed with Pipework, Acumen and Orbis, but is mainly working on the biography of a C20 Swedenborgian minister.
Alison Brackenbury was Lockdown Poet in Residence for Radio 4’s arts programme, ‘Front Row’, in June 2020. She is writing a prose book, called ‘Village’, about the extraordinary Lincolnshire place and people with whom she grew up.
Carole Bromley‘s latest collection is The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster (Valley Press 2020).
Maggie Butt‘s sixth poetry collection everlove was published by London Magazine editions 2021, and a novel The Prisoner’s Wife under the name Maggie Brookes was published internationally in 2020.
Alison Campbell 2020: poems published in London Grip, Pennine Platform, Artemis, Lockdown anthology, as well as broadcasting a poem on Rattlecast poetry station USA. 2021: poems published in Green Ink and Quince, on Fife Contemporary Arts website, and included in Feline Utopia Anthology and forthcoming Arachne anthology. Shortlisted for the Cinnamon press poetry pamphlet competition.
A C Clarke has a pamphlet, Wedding Grief, about the courtship and marriage of Paul and Gala Eluard forthcoming from Tapsalteerie. A sequel to this, Lost and Found, was shortlisted for thew Cinnamon Pamphlet Competition 2021. Her poems were commended in the Slipstream competition, highly commended in in the translation section of the Sangshaw competition for poetry in Scots, and runner up in the Andrew Siderius poetry prize.
Doris Corti still writes a monthly feature about some aspect of writing poetry in Writers News. She had a poem accepted for Acumen‘s 100th edition in May 2021.
Kerry Darbishire has had a number of poems published in magazines and anthologies. Competition successes include being runner up in Borderlines, shortlisted in the Norman Nicholson Society, longlisted in the Cinnamon Literary Award, second prize in Folklore Poetry Prize, winner of the Full Fat Collection prize and commended in Ware Poets. Her next collection will be published by Hedgehog Press in 2022. Her song cycle with music by Jen Hartley will be performed at St Mary’s Church, Ambleside in September 2021
Sue Davies First Prize in the Edward Thomas Fellowship Poets Competition 2020. 3rd Prize in Southdown’s Poetry Festival 2021. Shortlisted with special mention in Cafewriters Competion. Second collection Split the Lark published by Oversteps Books June 2021, and a memoir to be published by Cinnamon Press in 2022. Involved in the Photopoetry Project based in Basingstoke, a collaboration of work by poets and photographers.
Kelly Davis Poems shortlisted in 2020 for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2021 and published in the accompanying anthology; selected for Luke Jerram’s Bread Poetry Project 2020; commended by Helen Mort in the 2020 Borderlines Poetry Competition; published in Shooter literary magazine, February 2021; selected for The Best New British and Irish Poets 2019-2021 anthology, published by Black Spring Press. and longlisted for the 2021 erbacce-press poetry prize.
Rosemary Doman was a winner in Lucent Dreaming’s short story competition 2020 and had a poem in an anthology published by a Liverpool Everyman creative writing group.
Barbara Dordi edits the French Literary Review and welcomes submissions of poems, articles, short stories and artwork which have a French connection.
Hilary Elfick has two 2020 collections: Maelstrom (with photographer David Malikoff),published in Australia and Girdling the Earth (Anglo-Romanian, translated by Alexandru Floriu and illustrated by Jeanette McCulloch) published by Pennings Partnership Press. The SHOp – An anthology of poetry was coedited with Hilary Wakeman and published by The Liffey Press.
Elsa Fischer has had five poems published in erbacce.
Katherine Gallagher has had poems published in Brittle Star, ARTEMISPoetry (plus a piece on Ekphrastic poetry), Prosopisa (india), and Blithe Spirit, Artemis She recently obtained an award from SoA Authors’ Foundation Grant towards her forthcoming collection.
Rebecca Gethin had a collection, Vanishings, published by Palewell Press in 2020. Her chapbook, Fathom, was published by Marble In 2021.
Caroline Gilfillan was a runner-up in the Edward Thomas poetry competition 2021. Her poems were published in Bloody Amazing (Beautiful Dragons anthology) and in the magazine Twelve Rivers 2020.
Her second novel The Peasmarsh Players was published by Cowslip Press in 2020.
Geraldine Green is still writer-in-residence at the Quaker Tapestry Museum Kendal. Planned workshops were cancelled due to covid but a Zoom one will happen in July 2021. She has also been running Write on the Farm and other workshops via Zoom. She has published an anthology from a workshop she ran last year for Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, and her poetry will be part of the ongoing ‘Poetry in Translation’ project at Poetry pf. .
June Hall has raised over £1000 from sales of her Hen Run chapbook What If? for Parkinson’s UK.
Doreen Hinchliffe had poems published in 2020 by Acumen, Orbis, South, Dream Catcher, Reach Poetry and Sentinel Literary Quarterly. She also won third prize in the Sentinel Poetry Competition and had a poem commended in the Ware Poetry Competition. Publications for 2020; a new collection Substantial Ghosts (Oversteps Books) and a first novel Sarabande in Blue (Blossom Spring Publishing). In 2021, she won first prize in the Acumen International Poetry Competition.
Pauline Hawkesworth had poems in 2020- 21 in Orbis, The Frogmore Papers, South, Dawntreader, Saravasti and Poems in the Waiting Room. Poem In anthology New Contexts (Coverstory Books) and an article on Tessimond in Orbi
Ann Hay won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2020 and has had an offer of pamphlet publication by Red Squirrel Press in 2023.
Barbara Hickson was one of four winners in Cinnamon Press’s ‘Elements’ competition, 2020. Her debut pamphlet A Kind of Silence will be published in September 2021 by Maytree Press.
Wendy Holborow‘s two latest publications are Shipwrecked (2020) and Crossing the Line (2021) which is a collection of the author’s poetry and art with over 60 illustrations. Both from Lucy Quieter Press.
Annette Iles had poems included in two competition anthologies In 2020: Write Out Loud’s publication Beyond the Storm – Poems from the Covid-19 Era and What Next? the Dempsey & Windle Summer Anthology.
Rosie Jackson published two collaborative collections in 2020: Two Girls and a Beehive: Poems about Stanley Spencer and Hilda Carline (written with Graham Burchell, Two Rivers Press) and Aloneness is a Many-headed Bird (written with Dawn Gorman, Hedgehog Press). She won 1st prize Poetry Teignmouth 2021, 3rd prize Acumen 2021, was commended in Acumen and Hippocrates 2021 and won joint 3rd prize Hippocrates 2020. Poems appeared in Acumen, Alchemy Spoon, Pennard Platform, Raceme, Scintilla Poetry Space’s anthology Locked Down, Shoestring Press’ Poems for the Year 2020, and appeared on High Window and Carol Ann Duffy’s website Write Where We Are Now.
Maria Jastrzębska’s Snow Q live literature production toured with performances of poems just prior to lockdown. One of the poems from this was published in The Forward Book of Poetry 2020. Since then a triptych of film poems, Have You Seen Kai?, Lullaby and Crow made by artist Wendy Pye of Maria’s poems as part of this cross-arts project have been screened internationally at festivals and events. Her new, fifth poetry collection Small Odysseys will be published by Waterloo Press in Autumn 2021.
Pauline Kirk has had poems, shot stories and reviews published in anthologies and journals. At Fighting Cock Press she is mentoring two writers and planning the December publication of an autobiography (with Stairwell) by Rita Jerryman. As part of the poetry PF ‘RoPRO’ project, 50 of her poems have been translated into Romanian. She is currently working on a collection of short stories, and is involved with the York Poets and Composers project collaborating with a student at York University who is composing a setting for one of her poems.
Wendy Klein‘s pamphlet Let Battle Commence based on letters home form her paternal great-grandfather while he was a Confederate soldier in the US Civil War was published by Dempsey and Windle in 2020. An illustrated film of all the poems, read by the poet Charles Lauder Jr, is available on Youtube.
Stevie Krayer has started to submit work again after a long interval, and had a poem shortlisted in the Formal section of the Poetry on the Lake Spring Competition 2021.
Janet Loverseed’s third collction Jezibaba was published by Dempsey & Windle in 2020.
Mandy Macdonald has had a pamphlet, The Temperature of Blue, published by Blue Salt Collective in early 2020. Her long poem for readers and singers, Requiem for a Sunburnt Country, was premiered in Canberra as part of a large choral concert, ‘New Life — New Hope’, directed by Judith Clingan AM. Several poems in anthologies including Saboteur Awards Best Anthology 2021, Bloody Amazing! (Dragon Yaffle); and in fifteen print and online magazines including Black Light Engine Room, Gyroscope Review, and Poetry Scotland.
Fokkina McDonnell received a Northern Writers’ Award from New Writing North in 2020. The award-winning manuscript will be published as a collection by Broken Sleep Books in late 2022.
Gill McEvoy had a collection Are You Listening? published by Hedgehog Press in 2020 and this year was the joint winner of the Hedgehog Press competition for a Selected and Neglected collection which will come out in 2022.
Alwyn Marriage‘s recent work includes a novel The Elder Race (Bellhouse Books 2020) and out soon, poetry from the covid year Pandora’s Pandemic SPM 2021. Many publications in various magazines and anthologies. A shortlisted poem in the AONB Landscape section of the 2021 Ginkgo Prize will be included in their forthcoming anthology. A Commended in the Poetry Kit International Poetry Competition, another in the Poetry Kit Ekphrastic poetry competition and a shortlisting in the Second Light poetry competition all in 2020. Two short stories shortlisted in the Poetry on the Lake short story competition 2020 and one published in their anthology Off Centre in 2021.
Lindy Newns long listed Reflex flash fiction award last Spring, long listed Strand flash fiction award February 2021, shortlisted and got an honourable mention in the May 2021 competition. Shortlisted for Northern Writers Poetry Award 2021.
Liz Parkes had two poems highly commended and published in the winners anthology for the Sonnet or Not competition 2020 (Cannon’s Mouth).
Meg Peacocke has a new full collection The Long Habit of Living now out from Happenstance.
Katrina Porteous has a new pamphlet Sea Change (with Phoebe Power and illustrated by Rose Ferraby) from Guillemot Press. Under the Ice, her latest collaboration with electronic composer Peter Zinovieff and Northumbria University, will be premiered online for Wordsworth Grasmere on June 23rd 2021.
Marka Rifat 2020: Sole commended author in The Toulmin Prize. Two poems in Northwords Now; article in The Bellman online journal; two poems in Sideways magazine; poem in The Hail Clamjamfry, Tangletree Press. North American publications: essay in the art and art history journal Critical Read; short story in gardening magazine Greenprints; poem in Rattle; story in The Ear; poem in Twisted Vine; story in San Joaquin Review; and poem in Lines+Stars. 2021: Three poems in the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project Poetry and Covid. Runner-up in The Janet Coats Memorial Prize for poetry; commended in the University of Aberdeen 100-word prose challenge; poem in Australian journal Not Very Quiet.
Fiona Ritchie Walker won the Segora Vignette Competition, the Derby Bookfest Flash Fiction Competition and took second prize in the Olga Sinclair Short Story Competition. Her poetry was published in various anthologies: Folkways Press, Dreich, Hysteria and the Norman Nicholson Lockdown Anthology, as well as on websites and in Mslexia magazine.
Julie-ann Rowell had a poem highly commended in both the Forward Prize and the Bridport Prize and subsequently published in the Forward Prize Book of Poetry and the Bridport Anthology. One of her poems was included in the anthology City, Town and Village, Scottish Writers’ Centre (Figment Books) and another in the anthology The Mountains You Cannot See, Slice of the Moon Books (in support of Mind and CALM)
Mary Anne Smith Sellen was commended in the 2020 Poetry Kit Ekphrastic Poetry Competition, shortlisted in the 2020 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year competition and highly commended in the 2020 Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize (for a pamphlet of 15 poems).
Hilary Stobbs had a poem published in Pushing Out the Boat, and her second collection Caught on the Inbreath (RGU 2020)
Hannah Stone is currently poet in residence for the Council of Christians and Jews, and a year ago became editor of Dream Catcher literary journal. She has two new publications: Fit to Bust: an unwrapping of female desire and attire, with Pamela Scobie (Runcible Spoon Press 2020) and in Reflections: a poet- theologian in Lockdown Leeds (2021) in connection with her role as Poet-Theologian in virtual residence for Leeds Church Institute
Janet Sutherland is working on a fifth collection. She is one of the organisers of the Needlewriters reading series in Lewes, East Sussex and took part in an online reading for Molly Bloom magazine in February 2021.
Eleanor J Vale has had publications in the Suffolk Poetry Society magazine Twelve Ripples (2020, 2021) and had poems accepted for their collaboration with the Lettering Arts Trust in an exhibition ‘On a Knife Edge – Nature in Peril UK’ which runs for four months from July 2021.
Josie Walsh Six new poems published in this Spring’s Issue of Pennine Platform. My poetry collection Breathing Sky has over the last four years raised £1,300 for Medicins Sans Frontieres.
Andrea Ward had poetry published in Cyphers, Channel, The Honest Ulsterman and StepAway. She was highly commended in the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Competition and won first prize in the Allingham Festival Flash Fiction Competition, both in 2020.
Pauline Yarwood had two poems in the Norman Nicholson anthology The Unpredicted Spring published in 2020 and my second pamphlet Loop was published by Wayleave Press in April this year.
This year’s competition saw a bumper entry – a record-breaking 500+. The standard was high, and the judges were presented with a real challenge in having to select only three prize winners. In the end they decided to nominate all of the short list as ‘Commended’, with one ‘Highly Commended’ as an indication of exactly how hard it was. Many thanks to them and to everyone who entered, and many congratulations to the winners and runners-up.