madeinroath Blog

Guest Post: Human Kindness within Our Community

By guest blogger Hannah Pickering.

Hannah was a student at the Cardiff Metropolitan University Widening Access Summer School and was invited to take part in the Widening Access Exhibition at this year’s festival. We have invited Hannah to write a number of blog posts about her experience at the WA Summer School and the events she took part in and attended during the festival.




This a Poem I Created as Inspiration from My Lighthouse Drawing/Painting, listed in the middle of My Artwork Graphics above. It's the Artwork I had in the ‘Widening Access Courses, Exhibition,’ with Cardiff Met University, I attended in the Summer this year, as mentioned in My previous Blog for ‘Made In Roath.’ It was in the Church next to My Lighthouse Painting, on the left, St Edwards Church. I Entered it to Rachel Carneys Writing Competition throughout the festival. Which could have been on any piece of Artwork listed in any Exhibitions and Gallery's throughout the ‘Made In Roaths,’ Oct Festival 2017.

The Following Image is of the Different Items I Collected throughout the Festival, some bought for just a £1 & others I Made or Collected for Free & things I participated in.


First of all I just wanted to begin saying, THANK YOU! To ‘Made In Roath,’ for teaming up with ‘Cardiff Met University: with their Widening Access Free Summer School Courses,’ to allow, those of us who took part in them, this year, 2017, to have One Piece of Art work within an Artwork Gallery Exhibition, at their Festival this Oct 2017.

It helps knowing that there are some people in the world, who do know how a community should work and exist, and that there is such a thing like Human Kindness still within the world. The only thing I would have said that could have been different or changed is that the whole Festival events should have gone on for much longer! So I could have attended all of the events.

Community to me being a part of local events where people recognise you as an individual and a human being and that each of us should respect and accept one another and include each other. A community is made of people usually being able to do things together and even better without much money being made or spent. It goes to show that there is human kindness in the world by others willing to sacrifice time and money just to be a part of a community. It makes being human not quite such a bleak life experience in living within this amazing, wonderful and yet dark Universe.

Here are Picture Collages of some of the Events I did attend Below: This is the Inkspot Evening the Opening Evening of the Festival:


With Music, from different Musicians, free Food and £1 for some Drinks and good company, and Artistic Craft being Presented and some even still being made, what a great way to spend an evening. Plus a brilliant way to kick off a Festival for Oct 2017. 

The Albany RD Gallery: 

Amazing insights to different types of Artwork and Craft Displayed in a local gallery. What beautiful hands and mind humans can have. From what's already been created for us in the world, or what comes from imagination. 

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A truly amazing, quaint little gallery in a central location within the Roath Community, on Albany RD it's self, with a wide range of wonderful artwork and handmade craft work, for a variety of prices.

Catays Library:

This was a lovely decorated location, full of Fairwaters Pottery Club:



The 2 Ceremic HandMade Angels Above the Images of the Pics Above in the ‘Welcome,’ poster images, I bought in the Lucky Dip Pic, in the Pic to the Right of the Angels, which I didn't know that was what I was getting, they were both a £1 in a set, I thought that was a really quaint idea. Great idea for presents for friends! p9.1

The Balloon Girl Book Evening: An Interesting story about a Lady who has Written and Published a Book Called, ‘The Balloon Girl,’ the story is about a real girl in history, who flew one of the first Man Made Balloons into the air and landed in Cardiff, but by doing sadly died and disappeared for three days, know one seems to have known what happened for those three days. She has a Cemetery Grave, shown below, in Catays Grave Yard in Cardiff. 


One of the Poems was listed in the Envoi magazine (issue 175) entitled ‘The Artist Teaches Himself to Paint Grief’ by Wendy Klein, which was inspired by the work of Michelangelo:

The First Poem Below, to the Left, is this Poem: ‘Musica Mundana’ by Pascale Petit  (from her new collection Mama Amazonica) which she wrote partly inspired by the work of Anselm Kiefer, in particular a painting called ‘The Language of Flowers and Mute Things.’

The two pieces of Art that you can directly see below, My one is placed in the photo to the right, at the very end of the top line Photo Listed Below, in between is some poems other Poets have Written that we discussed too:

Rachel Carney, herself, is in the picture here.


We also discussed this Artists work too and when we responded to this Artwork we had time to express it on paper, which we could read aloud or not. Up to ourselves. The event was initially free, however ‘The Gate Centre,’ do charge for room use and it is a charity really, where a lot of funding helps to run the place and an element of Volunteers and some paid staff too, so that was £3 we just had to pay, although Rachel had not asked people that this time round, but that wasn't deliberate! So usually costs at least that amount.

She regularly continues her classes throughout the year now, once a month, and the dates can change, due to when she can book the room space as ‘Roath Writers,’ meet there too and she goes to this group too, it is partly from attending theses classes she decided on Creating a Writing Group that discusses and Writes Poetry as being Inspired from Art. Rachel has a Facebook Page of it all, which she updates information about each week and what the next dates are, we also use this to communicate on and she links her Blog Pages too also. I go to her classes when I can.

The Picture Collage is of ‘The Gate Centre,’ and its ‘Open Exhibition,’ Art Gallery. These are some of the ones we looked at together in Rachel Carneys Writing Group:


The Pics below, where placed just outside ‘The Gate Centre, and leading up to it. Title was called ‘By My Side, Come Rain or Shine.’ Created by a mixture of different companies/organisations etc…


 St Teilos High School, (I used to go) and ‘The TAVS,’ centre, which is run by Glenwood Church people, and I've Attended a few times to help create Artwork and some food too.

This Collage Below, are ‘St Edwards Church,’ displays, outside.



I met the gentleman who Created the display saying it was supposed to represent awareness of how much our Plastic Can Kill Animals and how a lot of them do by getting entangled in the plastic or by swallowing it. Actually in ‘The Blue Planet 2,’ TV series, of what I've seen, not really what I like to watch, cause although it has amazing Photography and I find animals fascinating, and how they live and work around us in the world, I'm not always so keen on seeing them kill or be killed by each other to survive etc… Anyway, they showed how plastic can kill animals, even babies making it harder to survive, so the message is obviously getting across to the world somewhere. But is it enough?

Below Here are the Pictures of Artwork My Artwork was a part of, of different types of Art and Craft Work, those who attended the ‘Widening Access Free Summer School Courses,’ at Cardiff Met University this Summer 2017. It was lovely meeting some of the other Artists on the Friday Preview Evening we had at this same church as mentioned above with the previous Photo Collage I've Created, was at St Edwards Church. We also had a lovely session performance from the Orchestra that played Wonderful Jazz Music for free too! So THANK YOU! St Edwards Church and for all of the other Artists who also submitted your work and who helped with the Gallery Viewings at the Weekend, I enjoyed helping out on the Saturday afternoon slot, so thanks for that opportunity and your hospitality.

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I really enjoyed attending the Albany RD Primary School Tour: with their WW1 Theme:


It was like going back in time as the kids had all dressed up and changed some of the class rooms to a Hospital ward, as in WW1 that's what happened to the School and all the children had to go to another school. They wouldn't let us upload pics of the kids to social media, which I can understand, so I haven't to be on the safe side of things. Shame though because they did look lovely in their outfits and we had three young girls take us on our own tour as that just how it worked out at the time, with numbers and who was around waiting to go on a tour.

They had a range of different things they had written and created, and facts and information that was on display about those who attended the hospital at the time and what they did for our country. We have so many creative ways these days for the kids to express themselves and represent their knowledge in. They were using iPads as their guidelines too! School has changed so much since my day! Now that's saying something since I grew up with technology and computers of some kind, but nothing compared to kids being able to create their own computer games, as they had, amazing! A wonderful way to spend a morning! Thank You for all of your effort and for opening up your School for us! Very fascinating indeed!

Below are Photographs I took attending a Book Workshop, Created By.

I joined in later on in the day and Created My Own, as I show after the First Photo, the following Five Pics are me in Working Progress and the Finishing Product is the Item, in the Picture to the right hand side of the College, at the bottom. The ladies hands are of the teachers hands, cutting the Shape I Created and others Created out of the Book we Created it in, very simple, but clever idea indeed. Many kids took part in it too. It was also a St Edwards Church, and in the same room My Artwork was placed too, so that was handy for me to help looking after the room and work as well as witness and attend this Book Workshop. And they say you can't be in two places at once!

This was run by a lady called, Doreen Barnaville, she has a Website Link here:


One Final Bonus Was some, Free, Lovely, Tasty, Freshly Baked Home Bread Made, by ‘The TAVS Centre,’ on city road.


Slant of light

One quite ninja thing I saw this year during the Made in Roath festival was “Slant of Light” by Andrew Pershin and curated by Zosia Krasnowolska. It was displayed in the front room of an open house on Kelvin road.

Slant of light was a large window hang print of a frozen waterfall somewhere in arctic Russia. The image is of an analogue photograph by artist Andrew Pershin, arranged by Zosia Krasnowoiska. The fabric-printed image aimed to create an illusion of winter that we rarely get to see.

The print covered the window and as the daylight sun shone through the window highlighting and creating cold steams of light into the room. The image of the waterfall frozen in time in the actual instance of ice and secondly in the frozen capture of the camera as the photographer took the image freezing this moment forever more.

The frozen waterfall reflected through back to another world, to the world of Scott of the Antarctic or of adventures traveling across arctic tundra. The image produced a thrilling illustration of adventure and travel in my mind.


Dino Rovaretti “Joining Words”

The last Sunday of this years Made in Roath festival thankfully dawned with a bright sun and a slightly breeze. After the somewhat stormy Saturday it was a relief to find blue skies and walking weather. As I strolled through Roath park, passing dog walkers and Sunday games of football. I halted at the White Bridge in the Pleasure Gardens to see Dino Rovaretti “Joining Words” exhibition. “Joining words” is part of a series of happenings on bridges which explores connectivity and place. People are encouraged to intervene on a statement to change and effect the flow by altering the text to form new sentences. As I approached the bridge I discovered a series of tiles laid out along the right side of the bridge. The words were taken from a social equities speech by Marget Thatcher. People were stopping and reading the tiles and then bending down and taking the words to form new sentences on the other side of the bridge. 

“Neighbours are family”,“there are no boarders”,“individuals are sociality” 

People had recreated the words how they wanted them, dispelling the power of Thatchers speech.



Postbox tree

Day 5 of the blog advert.

I feel like writing about something a little abstract today.

During this years festival I passed this Red post box on the way to somewhere. I’d never noticed it before. It lies on the street just opposite Roath Park pleasure gardens, about half way down the road. It struck me as a very defiant postbox battling an over intrusive tree. 
 I was in a rush but I felt compelled to stop and take this picture which I then totally forgot about until now when I came across it while looking for another photograph in an album.


The tree appears to be slowly eating the postbox, possible for vengeance of the amount of paper letters (e.g former tree’s) that have passed through the box over the years. It could possibly be seen as a metaphor of the slow disappearance of paper and general use of the post as nature takes over or possibly it was just an ill choice in terms of locations for a postbox. Who knows? I just like it.

It also reminds me of an ancient Persian story I once heard. The tale goes that a wiseman attempted to find a phrase that was suitable for any situation. After much thought and debate he adventurually come up with the adage “This too shall pass” a phrase that could be used anytime or anywhere. It’s also one I think applies to what I do as a blogger as well as the temporary nature of social media and the digital environment.

All these thoughts emerged from a momentary halt, half way down a street in Roath whilst on the way to somewhere else. That’s what I really like about Made in Roath, it creates this open mindset which strengthens the creative thought. The environment of so much art happening in one week increases your own creativity. It reminds me of the story of the three princes serendipity. In the tale, three princes from Serndip travel through a land and through utilising a mixture of deduction (in proper Sherlock Holmes fashion) and good luck succeed in many adventures. It’s one of the worlds first detective stories. It is also where we get the word Serendipity from because the Princes were looking for good fortune and adventure and they found it. Much like during the festival, you’re looking for culture and art so are more readily able to discover it in the most unlikely of places.

Community chess

Behind door 4 of the Made in Roath advent we have a short blog post on the amazing world of community chess.

This year’s Made in Roath festival saw the popular return of Community Chess outside the Penylan Library. Run by the amazing Jack Nicol, community chess is basically what the words suggests. Games of chess in the community, free and open to anyone regardless of age, ability or skill all are welcome to try. It can be played with friends, family or complete strangers. I’m not sure if anyone walking past Penylan library were challenged, in an over dramatically duel style fashion, to a game of community chess but I like to think so.

Chess has been called the world greatest game, it involves strategy, thought and creativity to use each piece to win. Chess is an infinity game. There are over 400 different positions after each players made their first move. There are 72,084 positions after two moves apiece, 9 million plus positions after three moves and up to 288 billion different possible positions after the fourth move. No two games of chess can ever be the same.

Chess is a fantastically exciting game and it was brilliant to see it being played on the streets of Roath. It’s a game which has an air of intelligence about it but in truth Chess is such a simple game anyone can and should play it. Chess is a game that appears throughout history in the halls of the kings to the gutters of slums. It’s one that enlightens the intellect and changes the soul.

This year saw a series of games being played on the last Sunday of the festival. At first people stopped, confused by the sight of a series of small tables and chairs set up with chess boards on but once the concept had sunk in the games began. Some lasting minuets others lasting hours. The traditional silence of the library was matched with the silence of the chess games.

Its always a delight to see street chess games, its something that is common in other cultures but not so much here. Its always great to see in Roath and its always a sight that makes me want to play more chess.



The Old Laundry

Behind door 3 of the Made in Roath advent we have the Old Laundry.

Made in Roath has a proud and exciting history of taking over spaces kindly donated to us for the festival. Last year we used the grand building of the Parade and until recently were installed in Welcome House. This year we were delighted to have the Old Laundry on Braveal street for an exhibition space for use during the October festival.

The Old Laundry was a unique space. A hidden gem that having walked the earth of Roath for many years, I must confess I had no knowledge existed.

 The entrance I discovered with sound. It was a windy day in Braveal street and a rustling sound was heard which increased in volume as I ventured past the terrace houses of the road. Then suddenly between two homes a small alleyway appeared. A red brick opening leading down an uneven, cracked path of stone. Across this opening a line of shiny tinsel paper was hung, gently blowing and whispering in the breeze. Passing through this paper door the alleyway opened up to a workman style yard with a square building of industrial purpose along the right hand side. To the left were a collection of old stables which indicated the age of this Victorian build.

Here was a place that had seen history, horse drawn carts and carriages walked these stones when first it was built. Then motorcars and petrol transport rumbled in and out, people worked, lived and spent their lives here. Jokes, friendships and memories were forged. This was a place that had seen life and now for the week of Made in Roath 2017 it was to see art.

The temporary exhibition space was divided into two parts. On the ground floor in the wide open garage like space. A group show of a collection of artists who responded and created work around Roath Park with a mixture of sensory, sound, visual and hanging work. Each artist had produced a thoughtful and fascinating piece that sat comfortably in this former white walled workshop.

Upstairs in the former office space the decor was different, down stairs it had been industrial and practical. Here it was modern, a more business like place with walls and carpet of the style which could be anywhere between the 70s and late 00s in plain, calm, practical agency fashion. Individual artists had space here, each room was dedicated to their practise. Each unit off the L-shaped corridor found a different exhibition. Fascinating and individual to each persons expression of practise. Your mind jumped from one thought to the next as you moved along the compartments. The archive work of one, the visual projection of another, the incurable curious sound work of the next. The building hummed with delight as you wondered through this former Laundry complex.

Then when all the work had been seen you left, back down the narrow red brick alleyway and back out into the streets of Roath where cars passed and life went on with no hint of the art work which lay behind Braveal street. Apart from the slight rustling noise, which slowly faded as you walked away re-entering the world.

Artists displaying in the Old Laundry space included Sharon Magill, Helen C.A. Rowlands, Nick Davies, Gemma Bartlett, Maria D. Rus, Jessica Greenway, Ceri Morris, Anna Brazier, Christine Magill, Olivia Day, Claire Davies, Thomas Bartlett, Alexandra Andreica, Kyle Povey, Jill Kirkpatrick, Lindsey Hadley, Jill Adams, Ian Watson, Beth Morris, Lynette Margerison, Zena Blackwell, Tanya Dower, Reid Allen, Laura Welsman.

Congregation, Made in Roath 2017

Behind day 2 of our recap blog posts of the year we find Congregation. The official launch party of this years festival which took place on Sunday the 15th in the Inkspot art space.

Organised by the brilliant and hugely talented Gareth Llewelyn Thomas it was a night of music, light and art. 
 The upstairs hall of Inkspot was transformed into a venue ideal for the expression of harmony through sound. The community banners of Roath from “By my side, come rain or shine” hung from the rafters of the hall as below them, one long table spread out from the stage reaching to the end of the hall. Gathered around the table people spoke, laughed and listened as the musicians began.

Performing that night we had an eclectic mix of music makers, Atomic Supermna, Nevsky Perspective, Saccharyn, Nia Ann and the Irascibles. All performed spectacularly adding their own unique sound to the night.

The atmosphere was warm and good natured as people enjoyed the music, chatted to old friends and made new ones. The audience reflected the wide ranging and diverse congregation of the Made in Roath festival. All sorts of people from all over South Wales and further afield sat breathing in the festival opening. Proving once again that while Made in Roath is based in Roath it attracts people from everywhere.





Open Houes 2017

Happy 1st of December one and all, I excitedly awoke this morning and ran downstairs to open a tiny door with a number 1 written on it. A ritual I’ll perform everyday between now and the 24th of December.

I read that the tradition of advent calendars originated in mid-19th century Germany when Protestants made chalk marks on doors or lit candles to count down the days to Christmas. It’s at this time of year that I like to look back on the year and oh dear sleepless me, it has been quite a busy year for Made in Roath. Starting off with the night walk in January, Red Route in May and the festival in October. Not to mention a whole host of other events.

I thought it’d be fun to spend the next 24 days posting recap blogs on stuff we have been doing throughout the year (yes, I have a strange definition of “fun”). So lets begin with the festival itself, back in October when we had over 200 different happenings taking place all in one week.

One aspect that will always remain fondly in my memory will be this years Open Houses. There is something quite exciting about venturing into a strangers home, not quite sure what you’ll find. Part of you feels like you shouldn't be there, that every inch of your British up bring of not making eye contact, always saying “bless you” when someone sneezes and never, ever, speaking to someone on public transport is urging you to turn and flee.

Once you make it through the door and into the home and once you have doubled, tripled and quadruple check the event brochure and house number to make absolute sure you are in the right place and haven't accidentally wandered into the wrong house you are greeted by wonder.

In every Open House I visited this year I discovered Wonder. Wonder in different ways and in different formats but wonder nonetheless. It was the wonder in an old school victorian photography studio in one kitchen. Wonder in finding the Kickplate projects hanging snow covered landscape in a front room. Wonder in the student house with the watercolour paintings on the stairs, the corner shop with an artist painting portraits, the house with the biggest hallway I’ve ever seen displaying a fine collection of pottery, my list is endless. At every venue something amazing was there to see.

I also noticed a common thread amongst which ran through each Open House; the fantastic spirt of the community and the willingness and good nature of people to open up their homes this year (and for the last nine years) to show art. To turn their homes into an art gallery for the week.

I am reminded by the inscription adorning Christopher Wren’s epitaph “not for profit but for the public good. Reader, if you seek monument – look around you.”


Guest Post: Oh What a Studious Summer!

By guest blogger Hannah Pickering.

Hannah was a student at the Cardiff Metropolitan University Widening Access Summer School and was invited to take part in the Widening Access Exhibition at this year’s festival.  We have invited Hannah to write a number of blog posts about her experience at the WA Summer School and the events she took part in and attended during the festival.

Oh What a Studious Summer!

Hannah Pickering - Blog1
Photos of me and my fellow students painting in our ‘Arty Party!’ course

You might say, that a summer can’t be studious, because you’re supposed to be resting, exploring, having fun and getting to know people better. However, since having studied a BA Degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, I have been finding it difficult to get work long term, or at all within the Creative Industries and I would like to use my skills as more than just a hobby. So being able to be a part of these Widening Access Summer School courses at Cardiff Metropolitan University, for free, has been a real privilege for me to attend. I would recommend to people from all walks of life, even if you’ve never done any of the subjects properly before, they have a range of courses you can choose from.

I attended the ‘Arty Party!’ course, which was about helping us learn how to put paint brush to canvas, with acrylic artwork, tools and skills. This was a two day course. My Photos above, are of these classes, the bottom photos are of me Painting the ‘It’s A Starry Night,’ work by Vincent Van Gogh. As it is an all-time favorite of mine and I have been longing to paint it for a while. This took me most of the first day to complete. Then I completed the finishing touches the second day. We were given a collection of artworks to choose from, this is what I chose.

Attending the Summer School art courses is as much a good chance to build up your creative portfolio, and maybe to learn a new skill, as it is to socialise and make new friends. It’s fun to meet others who have a similar interest in this field, yet possibly have different points of view on it all, use different artistic mediums, and have different skills and knowledge to share.

Here is some of my work:

Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘A Starry Night’
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Pencil Sketch | Painting in Progress | The Final Painting
My first attempt at painting my Nanna’s portrait

This is the work I completed on the course, I am now working on a new version of this painting.

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Pencil Sketch | Sketch with Picture Reference | The Final Painting

The other class I attended was How to Construct your Art & Design Portfolio’, which was run jointly with madeinroath and the Summer School. It was really cool to be able to see how we each presented our ideas to the world. We learnt about new ways to help present your artwork in a way that can help you sell or bring new interest to your work, for other people and companies. I didn’t produce anything in this, but I gained some new insight into how to do as I have said above.

I thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and will hopefully be going back next year. I would recommend them to anyone from ages 16 plus, whether you have done a degree or not and if you are looking for work or not.

Also, who would have thought that it would lead me to have my very first piece of artwork in an exhibition? Which is my very first painting in my series of ‘Places in Cardiff and to be able to take part in the madeinroath Festival 2017. It was totally unexpected!

So thanks to madeinroath for giving me the opportunity to gain experience by exhibiting my artwork, writing for their blog and contribute to the festival’s social media documentation. Also, huge appreciative thanks to Cardiff Metropolitan University for the opportunity to do free art courses at the Widening Access Summer School.

Guest Post: Ekphrastic Challenge Poetry Competition Winner

The judges have deliberated, and the winner of Made in Roath’s Ekphrastic Challenge Poetry Competition has been chosen. Congratulations go to Jill Berrett for her poem ‘A Semi-detached Corner’ which was inspired by a painting entitled ‘No Place Like Roath’ by Robert Vokes (displayed in the Made in Roath Open exhibition).

A Semi-detached Corner

Here in my autumn years I visit this cul de sac of semi’s,
searching for you beside the sashes of the upstairs bay.
Are you hiding, or lying on the narrow bed, dreaming of sea
colours, teal and turquoise, uneven patterns with wavy lines?

Or are you curled up downstairs enfolded by the winged armchair
reading Kollontai’s Love of Worker Bees? Can you see out
to the bare tree, no birds singing, no leaves fallen on to the
empty pavement, neither people nor animals pass you by.

Neatness is everything in this quiet corner, nothing allowed
to grow out of shape, even the greenery can have no
individuality. Although what would your mother have said to
next door’s privet, leaning, as though in need of company?

Low brickwork walls still keep boundaries, held upright
by determination more than mortar, perfectly capped,
as I prepare to release my storm. I travelled a long way west
to capture it, carried it inside myself across oceans,

gathering along the way all that was caught in its draught. I lean
back, my face to the sky, my mouth issues a long cry and my
bloated body releases its hurricane. Windows shake, trees
shudder in anticipation, branches shake with delight, bushes

bow and sigh. In its wake fly painted ladies, silver striped moths,
seeds drop, swallows swoop, warblers and wagtails pause in their
migration, a new colonisation begins. Sashes give way and walls crumble.
I shout  ‘Run’, the door flies open, and I go forward to catch you.

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The judges only had a few hours in which to make their decision. This is what they said…

“The imagery is visceral, dreamlike yet realistic. The poem almost acts as a juxtaposition to the image itself but because of the quality of the descriptions and adjectives employed, the poem fits perfectly. I feel that it would be a great poem for an anthology on the seasons but it stands alone well, too. A strong aspect of the poem is how it also can compare to today's climate of violence and aggression in certain news stories when the writer has written about elements of the weather.”

(from Rhys Milsom)

“I find the pace to be perfect, the subject matter well considered, the imagery both interesting and original. I love the image of the privet, for example, “leaning, as though in need of company”. I love, too, the balance between loss and lusciousness in this poem - the ‘I’ of the piece is missing someone, yet still the scene is full of flora and fauna, the elements as well as burgeoning new life. The beauty and fragility of life is captured beautifully in a piece that is precise and poignant in its rendering. A very worthy winner indeed.”

(from Mab Jones)