Under the chairmanship of Professor Peter Robinson, the judges of the “Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition” have announced the list of 76 poems, from the over 200 entries, which they have selected as being of a sufficiently high standard to merit publication in the special poetry anthology which will be published during the Festival in May of this year. This list will now form the basis for the creation of a final shortlist and, subsequently, for the selection of the three final prize winners of the overall competition. The top prize will be the “Cookham Festival Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition Don and Jill Cawthorne Prize”, with a cash value of £2,500. The two runners’ up awards, the Stationers’ Company Award and the Maidenhead Advertiser Award, each carry a cash prize of £500.
The list of the 76 successful poems can be found on the Cookham Festival website at www.cookhamfestival.org.uk as of February 16, 2017.
Professor Robinson commented to the Advertiser: “I know that it has taken longer than we expected to release the titles of the 76 poems selected for the anthology. The standard of the entries was extremely high and coming to a fair and correct decision proved far from easy. I realise that a few weeks seems an age when you are waiting for the result, but the anthology will last for ever and we had to be certain that our choice was fair to both the entrants and the competition itself.”
Members of the public will have a chance to hear some of the selected poems being read during this year’s Cookham Festival, at a special poetry event to be held at Cookham Dean Village Hall on Friday 12 May. The anthology will also be launched at this event, with copies being available for sale. At the same time, the final shortlist will be announced, with the three prize winners being revealed at a special awards evening at the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham on Friday 19 May.