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Winners of the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2017 announced | 24-Nov-17

Ledbury Poetry Festival has announced the winners of the 2017 Ledbury Poetry Competition with first, second and third places awarded to winning poems across three categories: Adult, Young People (12-18) and Children (11 and under). The competition was judged by award-winning poet and writer Fiona Sampson MBE.

Now in its 21st year, the Ledbury Poetry Competition has proved an important and influential first is step in many poets' careers. Previous winners include Jacqueline Saphra, Jonathan Edwards, Maitreyabandhu and 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize winner Jacob Polley.

Jonathan Greenhause, the 2017 winner, is the third US poet in a row to win first prize in the Ledbury Poetry Competition's Adult category, which is £1000 plus a week-long residential writing course at Ty Newydd, the National Writing Centre of Wales. Greenhause's winning poem 'The fire-escape, no longer weighed down', is described by judge Fiona Sampson as "a vividly ambitious poem, yet also one which is completely accessible and which deals with an important, immediate subject. Its language is living and completely contemporary, but at the same time timeless and full of gravity."

Second and third places in the Adult category were awarded respectively to 'Work' by Anna Woodford and 'Nana Says' by Dana Alsamsam. In the Young People category for 12-18 year olds, Eloise Unerman won first prize with '04:52 to Bristol'. Joe Dreyer won the first prize in the category for children aged 11 and under with 'Havoc Rain', inspired Ted Hughes's poem 'Wind'.

All the 2017 winners will be perform at a special Ledbury Poetry Competition event at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018 (29 June - 8 July), hosted by Fiona Sampson.

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