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Sonnet-writing trio show they've got the write stuff

C 6th August 2013

Three budding Swansea poets have proven their literary talents


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Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales, picked works by Rebecca Lowe, Linda Dobbs and Steve Grey as the top three in a sonnet-writing competition organised by Swansea Council.

Rebecca, aged 40, of Uplands, came first with ‘Swansea Summer’; Linda, aged 65, of Port Eynon, came second with ‘Culver Hole’; and Steve, aged 61, of Llansamlet, came third with ‘Acrosonnet’.

A traditional sonnet has 14 lines and ends with a rhyming couplet – two lines of the same length that rhyme and complete one thought. It also includes a rhyme scheme and is written in 10 syllables per line.

Over 120 sonnets were submitted from across the city to the Swansea Library Service.

Gillian said: “I enjoyed reading the sonnets. In choosing the three winners I reminded myself that a sonnet has rules, and I applied them sternly.

“I was listening for music, a modern voice, and a striking choice of words.

“All three winners use modern, English words and syntax and avoid all archaic language. This is essential if the sonnet is to be kept as a living form.

“In the end my winner is ‘Swansea Summer’, an up-to-the-minute subject: Swansea in a hot summer. The poet uses vivid, adventurous English that is surely influenced by Welsh alliteration to bring us the sticky sweetness of summer, as well as the haunting thought of dead sailors in Dylan Thomas’s ‘ugly, lovely town’.”

Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We have a proud history, as a city, in generating world-class literary talents like Dylan Thomas and Russell T Davies. The quality of the entries in this competition shows that the art of the written word is still very much alive and kicking across Swansea. Competitions of this nature are important because they encourage people to be creative at a time when we’re doing all we can to raise Swansea’s profile as a top city of culture.”

Rebecca has received a writer’s hamper thanks to winning the competition.

Have a look at http://www.swansea.gov.uk/libraries for more information about the Swansea Library Service or call 01792 636464.