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  Janet Turner


'Auntie Aggie' by Janet Turner
The judge John Hegley, who has published many collections of poems for adults and children, including My Dog is a Carrot, found it tough making the final decision. ‘There were many happinesses in the poetry I read,’ he said, but ‘Auntie Aggie’ won out in the end. ‘The opening is very strong and in-drawing. The story flies straight and trusted and there are many incidents of delight – and ‘bum’ and ‘pants’ seemed necessary, not merely decorative,’ said Hegley.

You can read all about it in the Irish Times.

Janet Turner lives with her husband Clive in Brockenhurst in the New Forest in the UK. She was a secretary in the aircraft industry, then taught shorthand and typing, and spinning and weaving. Now retired, she has more time to devote to her twin passions – poetry and painting. The profits from her poetry collection Out of My Buttefly Mind were donated to the Naomi House and Jack’s Place Children’s Hospices.
The winning poem features in the summer 2017 issue of The Caterpillar. 

John Hegley also commended poems by Conrad Burdekin, Richard Evans, Matt Goodfellow, Louise Greig, Lyn Halliday, Mercedes Hessleroth, Eileen Keane, Jemima Laing, John Morris, Heather F. Reid, Shauna Darling Robertson and Gabe Rothschild.


‘Spoonerisms’ and ‘Let us Pray’ by Conrad Burdekin (UK)
Conrad Burdekin is a writer, poet and storyteller in West Yorkshire, England. He has visited hundreds of primary schools across the country, inspiring children to want to write and tell stories. He has published four books of children’s poetry and a picture book. He lives in a house as the lone male, along with his wife, three daughters, three (female) guinea pigs, and one (female) dog! 

‘The BFT’ by Richard Evans (UK)
Richard Evans has been writing poetry since he was eleven years old. Now he’s 35, and despite being a lot taller (and I mean a lot taller!), poetry is still one of his biggest passions.

‘Jia-Wen’s Grandad’ by Matt Goodfellow (UK)
Matt Goodfellow travels the UK, visiting schools, libraries and festivals to deliver high-energy, fun-filled poetry performances and workshops. His most recent book of poems is called Carry Me Away and he has forthcoming collections with Macmillan and Otter-Barry Books.

‘To be a Bear’, ‘Trains Feel Love’ and ‘The Deaf Mountain’ by Louise Greig (UK)
Louise Greig lives in Scotland where she spends much of her time immersed in nature and writing poetry and children’s picture books. In recent years she has been joint winner of the inaugural Manchester Writing for Children Prize, winner of the main prize in the Wigtown Poetry competition and winner of the Caterpillar Poetry Prize.

‘Denture Misadventure’ by Lyn Halliday (Australia)
Lyn Halliday writes playful words at night, and technical words during her day job in Brisbane, Australia. She loves funny poems and is working on her first novel for middle-grade readers.

‘She said “No”‘ by Mercedes Hesselroth (USA)
Mercedes Hesselroth is honoured to be recognized by The Caterpillar magazine. In addition to writing, Mercedes enjoys music, theatre and books. She currently attends college in Pittsburgh.

‘The Field Hospital for Frogs’ by Eileen Keane (Ireland)
Eileen P. Keane is a poet, memoirist and singer/songwriter. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines and journals and has featured on national and international TV and radio. She lives in the west of Ireland.

‘He’ll never Be …’ by Jemima Laing (UK)
Jemima Laing wrote poems as a teenager and started again just over a year ago. Nymphs and Thugs published a couple and she won the first poetry slam she entered last November. She’s a former BBC journalist, having first qualified as a solicitor, and she lives in Plymouth with her family.

‘Do Wasps Ever Cry?’ by John Morris (UK)
John Morris is from Stourbridge in the Black Country and has written poetry for over 40 years. His first book, a collection of poems for children, will be published shortly.

‘New Boy’ by Heather F. Reid (UK)
Heather F. Reid lives in Scotland with her family and two demanding cats. she enjoys writing for adults and children. She dislikes slugs and bananas. 

‘Here’s a Little Jazz Number’, ‘Johnny One-Arm’ and ‘My Grandma’s a Straight-Talking Woman’ by Shauna Darling Robertson (UK)
Shauna Darling Robertson lives in Somerset where she writes for adults and children. Her poems are widely published in magazines and anthologies and in a chapbook, Blueprints for a Minefield. 

‘72’ by Gabe Rothschild (USA)
Gabe Rothschild is a singer-songwriter, poetry reciter, elementary school teacher, Texas creature, storyteller and thinks-he’s-funny-type-of-feller. He’s currently compiling a collection of original children’s poems. 

Call 00 353 (0)49 9522995 or email enquiries@thecaterpillarmagazine.com for more details.