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Local talent wins £100 in Bridport Prize
2:30pm Wednesday 10th October 2012 in Latest
A Bridport writer has won the £100 Dorset Award for the highest placed local writer of the 2012 Bridport Prize.
The award, sponsored by The Book Shop in South Street, was won by poet Elaine Beckett for her poem For Roy.
A musician by profession, Elaine Beckett said she felt both honoured and humbled.
She said: “I just felt extremely honoured and amazed and really touched and very pleased about it.
“Obviously it is a very prestigious award and I feel very humble that this 15-line poem has risen to the top.
“I have only been doing this seriously for three-and-a-half years and I am working towards a first collection.
“It is quite difficult to find a publisher but this will definitely help.”
She has been shortlisted for the past two years and that, she says, helped give confidence in her work, particularly as the judges change each year.
“I suppose it validates my work and tells me that I am not barking up the wrong tree.”
Elaine said she loved the challenge of writing poetry and although she has not been doing it seriously for long she would feel lost without it.
In 2009 she joined a poetry writing class in Cattistock, taught by Annie Freud, and last year went to a master class at Ty Nwydd with the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the Welsh laureate, Gillian Clarke. She has given readings in Bridport and Cattistock and at the New Art Gallery in Walsall.
She has also contributed poems to the Ty Nwydd anthology Taking Tea with Taliesen and the forthcoming Cattistock Poets Pamphlet, due to be published later this year.
She will be given her award for her poem For Roy at the prizegiving ceremony on Sunday.
But it was Elaine Beckett’s poem that took the eye of poet and competition judge Gwyneth Lewis.
She said: “I was looking for that electricity which plays along the surface of language under unusual pressure – whether that be exerted by originality, intelligence, awareness or all the above