This year Bipolar Scotland ran a national poetry competition on the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival theme of “Memories and Dreams”. We had a great response with 178 poems from 85 poets.

Anne Donovan, acclaimed author; Tom Leonard, exceptional poet; and Gordon Johnston, writer and Chair of Bipolar Scotland; made up the judging panel. They had the task of shortlisting the poems and choosing the winners. The shortlisted poets were invited to read their work at the grand finale entitled “The Verse Factor” where the winners were announced and prizes awarded.

Alison Cairns, Chief Executive, Bipolar Scotland and poet Larry Butler at the Verse Factor Awards Ceremony.

Alison Cairns, Chief Executive, Bipolar Scotland and poet Larry Butler at the Verse Factor Awards Ceremony.

Everyone had a great time and it was a real treat to hear the poems read aloud by the poets as they were intended. The overall winner was Alistair Praties with his poem “The Rowan Tree (A Waking Dream)”; Jane-Marie Fatkin was second with “Memories from Inside”; and Mary Black was third with “Sewing Class”. All the shortlisted poems are posted here. There is something for everyone so enjoy reading them and picking your favourite.

 

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