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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > November 2016 > Poetry winners

Poetry winners

Poetry competition: Winners

Judge Alison Chisholm highlights the winners from our Midsummer Night’s Dream competition

Writing a poem for Shakespeare is a tall order, a bit like baking a cake for Mr Kipling or giving gardening advice to Alan Titchmarsh. It was a fantastic experience, then, to read the many original, inspiring, witty and thought-provoking poems crafted to honour the Bard 400 years after his death.

Maybe the most pleasing aspect of the competition was the way almost every poet managed to find something new to say that connected with A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Some writers took up the suggestions made when the competition was set. There was a brilliant homage to Midsomer Murders, a fascinating commentary in the voice of the changeling boy, and some toing and froing between Bottom and the Donkey.

These three – child, weaver and donkey – were by far the most popular characters to explore, closely followed by Titania and her retinue. One intriguing idea brought characters from The Tempest into the arena, and several entries quoted from or listed other plays. A wide breadth of imagination was in evidence. A great number of entries exhibited imaginative leaps that brought the pieces to life. Very few poems had to be eliminated for avoiding the theme altogether, and writing about entirely different subjects.

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