|Me with the lovely Levi Tafari|
|My prize was presented by David Lonsdale from 'Heartbeat'|
So I am delighted that, after more than 90 rejections and failures this year, I can report a few successes: and chief amongst them is that I just scooped first prize in the Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival's Adult* Poetry Competition.
The poem's about the death of a (fictional) librarian. I was horrified to learn that Sefton Council (a near neighbour north of Liverpool) is threatening to close most of its libraries and I think some of the fears for libraries generally leaks into the poem - which will be on Sefton Arts website but isn't yet. I'm not sure how I'll get round the subject matter at work, but I won more than a week's wages so I don't care if I get some flack for seeming to kill off a colleague.
What was groovy about the award ceremony was that I got to meet the inspirational Levi Tafari. An 'urban Griot' of Jamaican and Liverpool heritage, he performs a lot in schools and has powerful, accessible messages about the beauty of diversity and the importance of being yourself: knowing who you are and what you stand for. I'll have to think more about this, but it was a timely encounter for me. It reminded me that I used to believe what you need comes to you if you are open to it.
* By adult I don't mean filth... It's just called that to distinguish it from the Children's Poetry Competition. But I will be coming back to filthy poetry in a future post.