Williams Prize/James McCash Competition/Planning Permission Near Poet’s Residence – Poetry News Roundup January 17th

Today’s poetry news round up looks at the recently announced winners of the Meredith Williams Poetry Prize and the James McCash Scots Poetry Competition. We also look at an article about planning permission near the former home of a local poet.

2022 Meredith Williams Poetry Prize

The winner of the 2022 William Meredith Poetry prize has been announced and this year there is not one name at the top of the list but two. The prize is to be split between Mystic’s Christie Max Williams for “The Wages of Love” and “Trouble” which was penned by Anne Harding Woodworth who hails from Washington.

Williams is a well know name. He is a poet, an actor and a former director of the Arts Café Mystic. This is, however, his first poetry collection.

The date of the awards ceremony has been scheduled for 15th July, although this may be subject to change due to the pandemic. It will take place at the Bulgarian Embassy which is in Washington D.C. Meredith was a former Poet Laureate in the US, serving in the position from 1978 to 1980, he was a resident of Uncasville and he died in 2007. The Meredith Prize was created in 2012 with the goal of honouring contributions to the world of poetry that are considered to be exemplary.

The winners are chosen not by a panel of judges but by the Meredith Foundations director and several of the members of the board of directors.

James McCash Scots Poetry Competition Winners Announced

The winners of the James McCash Scots Poetry Competition for 2021 have been announced. This year the judges have decided to award the first prize jointly to two poets from Glasgow. Both Alan MacGillivray and Sheila Templeton are former winners of the first prize in the competition and their names were selected from over 150 entries. This year, the theme for the competition was “Thinking of Others”.

Templeton’s winning entry was a profound, short and lyrical poem that the judges felt really reached into the heart of the theme whilst MacGillivray’s entry was a mixture of demotic wit and knowledge. Titled “The Sma Fowk” (the ordinary people), those who were responsible for saving the integrity of Scotland at several points in the nation’s history that were particularly critical.

In addition to the two winners the judges commended a further five writers for their entries.

Former Home of Local Poet Could be Blocked If Plans go Ahead

Concerns have been raised over some changes to a property where Alfred Williams, a famous Swindon poet once lived. The new owner of the property has put in planning permission requests to add a detached building and storage shed in front of the house as well as adding a new access way for vehicles. This is the second time that they have submitted an application of this nature, the first ones were turned down, so they have re-submitted with a number of adjustments.

Williams lived in the cottage, which is called Ranikhet, for a number of years with his wife, following his return from India where he completed three years of military service during World War One.

Speaking on behalf of the Alfred Williams Heritage Society, the vice chair said that whilst the cottage is not a listed building it does have major historical significance for the town and should be treated as such.

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