The results of the National Poetry competition have been announced and you can read the winning poems here. I loved the third placed poem by Zaffar Kunial, ‘Hill Speak’, which demonstrates the possibility of a poem to be multi-dimensional, seeming to exist in space and time beyond itself. I hope this statement will make sense to you if you read the poem, and I would urge you to do so if you haven’t seen it. I met Zaffar whilst queueing for a sandwich at the reading I wrote about on this blog last week. We only exchanged a few words but his modesty and quiet attention were apparent. The second placed poem by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch is from her forthcoming collection ‘Banjo’ which will be published by Picador. I was also fortunate to be at the recent launch of Magma magazine at which Samantha was a featured reader, and was spellbound by a sequence based on the tragic Scott expedition. These poems demonstrate another aspect of the art in that they combine a huge amount of research with great empathy and tremendous technical ability. I look forward to the publication of ‘Banjo’, and to the first collection by a brilliant new and distinctive voice in british poetry, Zaffar Kunial.