Over All winner of the Andover Poetry competition Graeme Sandford


Graeme Sandford Over all winner of the competition

Graeme Sandford Over all winner of the competition

 A Recipe for Sautéed Shakespeare

Take one Puck and griddle the Earth, mid-simmer, for forty minutes, with acorns to taste.
Add a pound of flesh, take arms, end them, use every man after his dessert, without waste
Insert your Guildenstern and your Rosencrantz heads first, as you must;

Ingrate a little Lear of Corn., preferably wind-blown from the heath, for the crust;

Sieve a freshly blooded Montague and a young Capulet into the mix, checking expiry dates.

Blend in, if you can, one ripe Caliban with water and berries, or if unavailable a Trinculo or Stephano (Caliban’s ‘mates’)

If the flavour seems somewhat sweet to you, a pinch moor of Othello’s handkerchief can be folded in

Dust nightly with a spot of Lady M. to garnish, or cheat by using leaves from Dunsinane.

Serve i’ the heat, accompanied with Caesar salad, Dogberry sauce and I pray you watch

How a rich and full-bodied Malmsey will accompany this nicely – but don’t serve with Scotch!

A few words about Graeme Sandford, by Graeme Sandforld

I ‘love’ words! I get great satisfaction from arranging and rearranging them to form exquisite poetry (in my opinion) and the performance of many of these poems has brought me (and others?) a great deal of pleasure.

I also ‘love’ Shakespeare – and any chance I get I purloin a phrase from the Bard to improve my works tremendously – He has said nothing on this – therefore I assume he approves.

 my words (or at least some of them) are available to taste on www.graemesandford.wordpress.com

Andover Poetry competition is about to close

There is only 1 and half more days until the poetry competition closes and its the end of an era. You still have a few more hours to enter into our poetry competition. Winners will be announced at our open mic Celebration of National Poetry day. The theme is food to highlight the good work of our Andover food bank.

Right now our chair Cat Randle is feverishly putting ALL the poems into a power point to go on display at The Lights. We had so many entries last year that we have to have two now. One for the Andover entries and one for the Hampshire entries.

What we’d like to know is, would you like an anthology of the poems from the last 8 years?  Send us a line and let us know what you think…

Each Autumn hard working volunteers collect food for the food bank

Each Autumn hard working volunteers collect food for the food bank


Poetry Competition

Don’t forget, the theme for the Big Up Words 2014 poetry competition is FOOD and the first prize is a slim volume of the winners’ own poems to be produced by PNS Publishing. Now that summer is here, get writing, poets! The competition closes for entries on 31st August.
More information here:

Steve Scholey or the best thing I found at Winchester Writers Conference 2012

“I’ve given up sending things to writing competitions,” said Steve Scholey. “When I send them off, they disappear and nothing ever happens.”

I was shocked. Steve had read an amazing poem at Winchester Writers conference’s open mic. It was clear to me that he was an amazing poet.

I was also shocked that he was letting the loneliness of the long distance writer stop him.  I pushed my chair’s card into his hand and unleashed my best uplifting talk. I think he promised to send something in, just so he could go home.

The next week a breathtaking poem called Grubby Fingers was entered into Andover’s poetry competition. 3 months later, he won and since then he’s been to Andover at least 3 times to perform, twice in front of the mayor.

Small threads.  This is what I want you to take away from this

1)   When you are at Winchester Writers conference, you may be talking to your next big career break. Winchester Open Mic is where I go to check out poets and writers for our upcoming projects.

2)   Send out everything (just not the first draft).

3)   Enter our poetry competition because you could win.

4)   Enter our poetry competition because you go on display even if you don’t win.

5)   Every writer needs a writing buddy or a good friend to talk to for writing support.

6)   Did I mention Winchester Writers conference has given many people the break in their career? Oh yeah, well it’s true.

This year Winchester Writers conference is June 21st-22nd-23rd at The University of Winchester. You can find our poetry competition under the Projects menu, title poetry. Steve’s winning poem is just below his picture.

Steve reading out his poetry at Andover Celebration of  National Poetry Day

Steve reading out his poetry at Andover Celebration of National Poetry Day

Grubby fingers

She gathered up the ashes
of the spade,
the garden fork,
carefully planted roses
in the shed,

stamped on her
father’s urn,
more firmly
than was perhaps

tipped soil
and a full bucket of water
into the foot
of each green
wellington boot,

as it trickled from holes
altogether wider and deeper
than the muddied recollections
of her father,

gently placed
her tear-stained eyes
in her own deep pocket,
in the hope that
they might grow,

and dabbed
with grubby fingers
at her clean white handkerchief.

Steve Scholey