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Student poet wows Black Country judges


Student Poet Gaynor BeesleyThe 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:

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.


For media enquiries please contact Danielle Taylor in the media relations office on 01902 322448

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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