Linda France wins National Poetry Competition

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Congratulations to Linda France, whose poem, Bernard and Cerinthe, has won the National Poetry Competition. The poem was inspired by Linda’s Poetica Botantica project, a Durham Book Festival 2012 commission, which has seen her visit botanical gardens all over the world.

Judges Julia Copus, Matthew Sweeney and Jane Yeh selected Linda’s poem from 12,085 entries which were submitted from 77 countries. Ultimately the ‘strange narrative of a man being seduced by a plant charmed the judges with its vivid imagery and linguistic wit,’ said Jane Yeh. She added that the poem was: ‘Truly imaginative and richly musical, Bernard and Cerinthe is as much a pleasure to read on the page as it is on the tongue, and as such was the unanimous choice of the judges for first place in this year’s National Poetry Competition.’

Linda France becomes the 36th person to win the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition (first prize £5,000). For more information about Linda and her work, see