This week, there was a poetry festival in town, and I was delighted to attend the award giving for the Gregory O Donohue prize.
I found myself getting nervous in the audience, as the compere read out stuff the judge had said about the entries... I found myself feeling like maybe they'll say I was the winner, though I didn't enter, maybe I was still the poet of extraordinary quality that was about to be presented with a big fat cheque... (they didn't present the cheque on stage as it turned out - that's a bit too lotto i suppose)... I did the same in first year of secondary school when the student of the year was being announced - I have a ridiculous level of optimism sometimes, perhaps it was because i had just written a poem at home for the first time in yonks.
Following the poet who came third, and then the poet who came first came 5 emerging poets.
The first was the most emerging of emerging - sure didn't she come up with the name, it was great to see Kate from Emerging Writer fame doing her thing again. I found her "it's what's in it" poem very touching, and even asked afterwards was it a new version, cos I never remembered it hitting home so much before, but maybe that's just a side effect of having grown up and having an actual singing dancing munchkin of my own. Flaming for Vincent was a bit of a classic too. I won't tell you about the others, you should have been there, if you're so interested.