Home International Poetry Book Awards - Winners!

International Poetry Book Awards - Winners!

Press Release: November 01, 2020

Jocelyn Simms Wins The International Poetry Book Awards

The contest organisers have announced the winners of their prestigious contest, judged by Welsh poet and writer Dave Lewis, and the overall winner was Jocelyn Simms for her book ‘Tickling the Dragon’.

The winners were as follows:
1st Prize          TICKLING THE DRAGON – Jocelyn Simms, France
2nd Prize         THE WOMAN WITH AN OWL TATTOO – Anne Walsh Donnelly, Mayo, Ireland
3rd Prize          HEFT – David J Costello, Wallasey, England

Judges’ comments can be viewed on the competition web site – www.poetrybookawards.co.uk

"Tickling The Dragon by Jocelyn Simms is an important piece of work, both historically and artistically. Uncomfortable reading but should be essential for everyone. Although only a short volume each poem is a masterpiece, full of subtle references. From the first poem;

‘…a boy, A brilliant boy.
…brighter than a thousand suns.’

A reference to ‘Little Boy’ as well as to the young Robert Oppenheimer.

A poem that sets the scene for the horrors that follow. Each poem complete, confident and comfortable in its own right. Every word counting.

I cried when I read ‘Les Fleurs d’Azur’.

‘A naked girl, torso stripped of skin, cries,
and later… ‘A white liquid oozes from her. Maggots spawn…’

The atomic bomb story is a powerful one of course. The dropping of two WMD on Japan’s citizens might have saved a lot of allied lives but it was also a war crime. Certainly not mankind’s finest hour.

However, the tragedy didn’t end there. You’d think that the western powers would have spent the rest of their lives trying to make amends but no, the state-sponsored radiation experiments conducted by our own government upon our own people showed what utter disdain for human life is prevalent amongst the elite. Another crime that should never be forgotten.

‘The bomb exploded: dirt shot up,
…I saw a tracery of finger and knee bone…
Face the mushroom cloud.’

Anyone who isn’t moved to tears by the sheer brutal honesty and stark realism of these words should give up reading poetry. This is what the art form was meant for! In a world, which seems to get crazier each day we neglect the lessons of history at our peril.

A worthy winner of the International Poetry Book Awards by a fantastic poet who knocks spots off most of the established names in the arts business today."

- Dave Lewis


Jackie Biggs – Breakfast in Bed

David J Costello – Heft

Anne Walsh Donnelly – The Woman with an Owl Tattoo

Marc Goldfinger – Heroin’s Harbour

Phoebe Kalid – Everything’s Great And I’m Still Dying

Ewan Lawrie –  Last night I met John Adcock

Kathy Miles – Gardening With Deer

Elizabeth Ridout – Summon

Derek Sellen – The Other Guernica

Jocelyn Simms – Tickling the Dragon

To view the full list of winners and read the judges' comments please visit our website.


Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Susan Gurman

Email: [email protected]

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