Entries to the Crow writing competition have closed and three poems have been selected to go forward to the Arts and Eats lunch on 20th September.
It proved difficult to choose only three from seventy entries but after much discussion, some reading aloud, and more discussion, three finally made it to the short-list. Next week we will publish the winning poem, chosen by a vote at the Arts & Eats lunch, and the two other shortlisted poems.
We were delighted with the response to the competition with entries from both within and outside the Waveney & Blyth valleys. All members of the crow family were represented except the most colourful – that collector of acorns, the jay. Ravens, rooks and crows were the most popular with many poems featuring their interaction with the writer, and others reaching back into the misty world of myth.
Sometimes the crow was only a starting point for the writer to refocus and reflect. Sometimes it was the focus of the poem. Only a handful of poems introduced an element of humour. Maybe black birds call up black thoughts.
Many writers chose to explore the crow’s long association with death, whether as a harbinger of doom, a scourer of the battlefield or a tidier–up of the world. How frequently we see crow and magpie, raven and rook, picking over a carcass. Last year I had to visit a waste recycling centre in Birmingham and was fascinated at the waste strewn, puddle rich grounds where crows sorted and sifted through the detritus that we unthinkingly cast into our rubbish.
Look at our blog next week to read the winning poems. But for now, a big thank you to everyone who entered. The response to our call out for artworks at the Ferini Art Gallery, and to the writing competition show that, black as it might be, the crow still engages and enthrals us.
NB Due to a cancellation there is one space left at the Arts & Eats lunch on 20th September. Book now to hear the short-listed poems and see the art exhibition. And don’t forget, A Murder of Crows ends on 24th September.