The 2020 Winchester Poetry Prize has been won by Lewis Buxton of Norwich for his poem Field Dressing a Rabbit. Lewis becomes the fifth winner of the prize which is sponsored by Paris Smith LLP. The competition once again attracted over two thousand entries from around the world. Lewis was placed 3rd in 2019 with his poem Boy Sees a Ghost.
Festival Chair, Stephen Boyce, said: ‘This year has been a difficult one for many people and it was disappointing to have to postpone the Winchester Poetry Festival, so we were very pleased to be able to continue with the Poetry Prize. The popularity of the annual competition is immensely encouraging. Each year we have been able to attract a highly regarded judge for the competition, while the generous support of our sponsors enables us to give appropriate recognition to some outstanding poets.’
The prize-giving ceremony this year was arranged as an online event giving all of the long-listed poets the opportunity to ‘attend’. The competition judge poet Andrew McMillan, congratulated the authors of the winning and commended poems, highlighting that the poems had earned their place on the final long-list by ‘surprising me, by grabbing me by the scruff of my old t-shirt and not letting me go, by showing me things I didn’t realise poetry could do.’
The prize for the best poem by a Hampshire-based poet, sponsored by Warren & Son was won by Imogen Cook, a third year student of Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Winchester for her poem Nose Piercing.
All the winning and commended poems are published in an anthology entitled un-seaming the tendon, available via the website shop or from festival bookseller P&G Wells Bookshop.