All the submissions for the Robin Reeves Prize for Young Writers Competition have now been received and we’d like to thank everyone who sent in their stories and poems around the theme of adversity.
The winner of the competition will be announced in September and an award ceremony will be held in November later this year, where work from the winners and runners-up will also be presented.
This competition has also made us feel pretty nostalgic. The winner of the last Robin Reeves Prize, which was held in 2008, was Anna Lewis who has gone on to win several awards and has published her own collection of poetry, Other Harbours (2012).
Since then, her work has been widely published in magazines such as Agenda, New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales and The Interpreter’s House. Her pamphlet entitled The Blue Cell is due out from the Press Rack in July 2015. It is compiled of poems written on the lives of early medieval Welsh saints.
If you would like to find out more information about her and also read some of her writing, check out her website: www.annalewis.org.uk
Please enjoy one of the poems which will be in Anna’s new pamphlet and join us in wishing good luck to everyone who submitted to our latest competition!
Gwladys and Gwynllyw
He used to come home and show me
the blood on his hands, the scraps of hair
stuck to his forearms,
used to hold out to me his stiffened palms
and smile, tired and shining.
Those hands: I took them, raised them, kissed them,
closer to the men he’d spilled
than their own wives, who waited still
for news in muffled, soot-lined huts;
between women, my salute.
All that is gone, since our son
held out his faith, his face above it lit;
now each night, between the leafless trees
we wash: the water slices off
our shames, our cruelties.
I watch my husband’s silver chest,
his silver stomach cut up from the lake,
armfuls of water hours from ice
thrown back and forth across the breadth of him.
He comes to me reeled in steam;
his breath condenses on my cheek
Note: Gwladys and her her husband Gwynllyw were infamous warrior chiefs in Glamorgan around the fifth century. They abandoned their violent ways of life after their son converted to Christianity.