The poem titled ‘The Taste of War’ written by Gaynor Beesley, who studies Creative and Professional Writing and English Literature, has been awarded first prize in the Black Country Living Museum’s annual poetry competition.
This year’s competition was to commemorate the start of World War One and had to be based on a theme of Conflict and Contemplation.
Unlike previous poetry, Gaynor had no personal experience to relate to and I relied on her mother’s early childhood memory of the event which for her marked the end of World War Two, namely being given a share of her first banana.
Speaking about her poem, Gaynor said: “Through my poetry, I contrasted my mother’s experience of war with that of the older generation who’s celebrations at its end seemed always tinged with, at best relief, usually regret and sadness.
“As an innocent child, my mom was able to look to the post war future with anticipation and hope, represented to the child by the wonderfully new and exotic taste of bananas.”
Mel Weatherley, Head of Learning at the Black Country Living Museum said: “The quality of the entries this year has been extremely high, but all three judges were impressed by the lyrical beauty of Gaynor’s poem, and the clever and evocative use of language.”
Gaynor from Bridgnorth, entered the competition after following the advice and support given by her lecturer at the University.
The 51-year-old won a prize of £100 along with a family ticket to the Black Country Living Museum.
Gaynor said: “As most aspiring writers and poets, I’ve always dreamed about receiving some form of recognition for my writing, but you don’t think it will necessarily ever happen.
“Winning the competition was a complete shock, but it feels great to have won and it has given me more confidence in writing out of my comfort zone.”
The poem is available to view on the Black Country Living Museum’s website: http://www.bclm.co.uk/learning/annual-prize-poetry-competition/457.htm
The museum also states that they will be including the student’s poem in a poetry anthology due to be published over the next two years.
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