Hastings Writers’ Group

THE room was packed for the results of our Poetry Competition on Monday, July 1, with our guest judge, Hastings-born poet Richard Evans.

One of the most well-respected young poets working today, Richard has published two collections of poems, and is working on his third.

It was a very poetic evening - the group heard that our chairman, Jill Fricker, has just been awarded a prestigious Bare Hands International Poetry Prize for 2013, and we also welcomed Yvonne Rees, from Arts Forum Poets, as a guest to our meeting.

Richard read us a selection of his poems before reviewing the entries. He said that the standard of entries was high, and main criteria he had used to judge the poems was how easy he had found it to experience the world of the writer.

In fourth place was Marcus Towner, with his vivid Obadiah’s Observations. Marcus told us that he now has an upcoming ‘gig’ to perform as Obadiah.

One of our newest members, Rachel Marsh, was third, with Lanterns in the Cottage, about smugglers in Hastings.

In second place was our star poet, Jill Fricker. Her haunting piece, On Meeting, was about the birth of a child. In first place, much to her surprise, was Steph Gaunt, with Writers’ Block. Richard felt that this poem had painted a particularly accessible picture of the writer’s world, and the place of poetry within that world.

Following the judging, Richard shared some thoughts with us about the place of rhyme in poetry.

The Hastings Writers’ Group meets fortnightly at the White Rock Hotel. Our current group anthology, Strandline, is available at the Hastings Waterstones, in Priory Meadow.

We currently have vacancies for a few new members - if you are interested in joining the group, or in finding out more about our activities, please contact the membership secretary, Amanda Giles, on 01424 442707 or email membership.hwg@gmail.com. You can also visit our new website at www.hastingswriters.co.uk, or find our page on Facebook.