Double winners for the ‘Making a Buzz for the Coast’ 2019 Poetry Competition

One of the aims of Making a Buzz for the Coast (MaB) is to raise the public understanding of bumblebees and celebrate their importance in Kent.  Each year of the project, we are holding a public competition to engage people creatively and culturally for this purpose. To finish an action-packed 2019, the project announced its poetry competition winners, which it ran between June to September as part of its Buzzing Communities work.

Entries were received from a range of residents who beautifully expressed their love for Kent’s bumblebees through their verse and poetry.  From a shortlist of nine, the winning poem was selected by Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s patron Olly Smith, author, columnist and TV broadcaster, and occasional poetry writer himself.

The overall prize of £100 was awarded to Dorothy Jerrome, who composed a beautiful verse to Kent’s rarest bee, the Shrill carder.

Making a Buzz for the Coast Project Manager Emma Lansdell, awarding the poetry prize to Dorothy Jerrome.

In Olly’s words:

“I am delighted to announce that the winner of the poetry competition is Dorothy Jerrome. I love Dorothy’s poem for being simple, charming and evocative. The intimate connection between each of us individually and the bees that enrich our world is huge and this poem joins those two succinctly with a gentle yet powerful impression. Congratulations to Dorothy for such a beautifully observed and moving piece of writing. 

 I would like to thank everyone across Kent who submitted their poems. It is fantastic to see that bees are inspiring so many of us to create enriching and keenly felt emotions and I am truly grateful for all the careful consideration put into each and every poem – the standard was exceptionally high and this competition was a thrill to judge.” 

In addition to our overall winner, Olly then excited us with an extra award, which is a wonderful endorsement for the Making a Buzz for the Coast competition, and encouragement for poets of all ages who celebrate bumblebees.

I would additionally like to create a special award for another poet who also stood out this in this year’s competition.  My favourite nature poet is John Clare thanks to his deep affection for and understanding of the natural world. I’d like to endow the John Clare Poetry Prize of £50 as a special award this year to a young poet showing great promise in writing about nature. Congratulations to Ellie Gosling, aged 11 for her delightfully thoughtful and brilliant poem “Conservation Conversation.”

Making a Buzz for the Coast Project Manager Emma Lansdell, awarding the poetry prize to Ellie Gosling.

You can read both poems in full here.

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