Meeting Carol Ann Duffy and The Ted Hughes Awards

The Ted Hughes Awards

It feels like the first day of spring outside as I step into the Savile Club who are hosting The Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry alongside The National Poetry Competition. My high heels are in my bag, all ready for me to slip into.

In the ladies’ rest room I find the lovely Emma Wright from The Emma Press who introduces me to the poet Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi from Indonesia, I also find the gorgeous Jo Bell and we talk shoes while I put on my mascara. I feel happy, nervous and intrigued as to what the night will bring.

Upstairs I am greeted by Judith Palmer who introduces me to Tom Chivers and then the night begins….

I talk fighting gerbils with Katy Evans Bush and Julia Bird and meet lots of great people and poets including the great John Agard who is as lovely as anyone can be. But there is still one poet I haven’t met….Carol Ann Duffy

I have my one-year-old niece’s poetry book in my bag along with my IPhone and my copy of Mean Time all ready to Carol Ann, a poet whose work I have long admired and read. But of course I am one of just many with the same idea and getting to talk to her isn’t as easy as I had imagined.

In the end I decide to just do it, so I go up to her and introduce myself. The long wait is worth it. She is as sweet and kind as she could be and I am a little star struck. I feel very happy and very lucky to have met her.

The night rounds off nicely with lots of jokes and laughing while we gather our coats and I feel so very lucky to have been invited.

A big thank you to all the hard working people behind The Poetry Society and a special thank you to poet and editor Peter Ebsworth.


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