Lincolnshire poet Lynda Plater has been awarded this year’s Frogmore Prize by adjudicator Helena Nelson. Lynda has been writing poetry for more than forty years and her work has been published in Rialto, Stand and Verse, among other poetry journals. She has published two pamphlets with Wayleave Press, Three Seasons for Burning and Saving Fruit, of which Rennie Halstead has written: ‘Saving Fruit creates a vivid and memorable picture of life in rural Lincolnshire in the first half of the twentieth century. Plater captures the wildlife, the landscape and the lives of the people living and working in it with a pictorial, almost photographic realism. She has the ability to transport the reader back into the past through her spare imagery and simple language.’
Of her Frogmore Prize-winning poem, ‘The Revd. Michael Woolf on his way to a parishioner in need’, Helena Nelson comments: ‘It has imprinted itself on my mind like a painting. I find it strangely compelling, and perfect. The form and thought are precisely matched, beautifully balanced. So much that it doesn’t say! So much it evokes!’
First runner-up is Alison Binney with ‘Party Susan’, which Helena describes as ‘funny and a little sad. I admire the way it appears at first casual – almost awkward – while subtly and tenderly working its magic.’ Second runner-up is Christopher Horton with ‘Elvis Presley Makes it Just In Time for the Charity Event in an English Village’, one of the longest entries for this year’s Prize, but, Helena notes, ‘the reading investment is worth it. It is exquisitely detailed and beautifully rendered: a short story of a poem – a delight.’ Other poets shortlisted were Alex Barr, Sharon Black, Eric C Brown, Charles Evans, Jane Kite, Laura Strickland and Jane Thorp. Their poems will all be published in the September edition of The Frogmore Papers, available from The Frogmore Press for only £5.00, including post & packing.
THE REVD. MICHAEL WOOLF
ON HIS WAY TO A PARISHIONER IN NEED
This is plainsong: flat line of marsh,
cordgrass, seeding thrift, sow-thistle,
sliver of sea far out where boats
rest in Humber’s low tide.
Grey seals are wintering: monophony
of their song in cold air
as he cycles between staves
of fields: cassock, the wing of a rook.