The Creswell Crags Poetry Competition, judged by Poet in Residence Hannah Cooper-Smithson, ran throughout May 2020, with entries in two categories: Under-16s and adults. The theme was nature, landscape and place. Winners and runners up receive a small prize and the chance to see their poems displayed in the Creswell Crags Visitor Centre when it reopens after the coronavirus lockdown period.

Under 16s Winner: Tristan Saunders (8), with the poem ‘A Walk to the River’

Tristan Saunders, Under-16s Winner

Hannah said: “Tristan’s poem is beautifully written – I was so impressed by his use of language and the vivid images he created. I especially loved ‘Big brown cows lie in the forest of grass’, and ‘Willow seeds float down like snow’. It’s a poem full of joy! Well done Tristan!”

Under-16s Runner Up: Phoebe Rose Dayson (10), with the poem ‘Beautiful Britain’

Hannah said: “Phoebe wrote us a wonderful poem that captures the magic of the British countryside, with its ‘dusty bluebells’ and majestic oaks – and it’s beautifully illustrated too!”

Under-16s Special Mention: The youngest poet in the competition, Teddy Waddington-Roper (4), who sent in a wonderful Alphabet Poem.

Adults Winner: Sarah Mills, with ‘Creswell Crags’

Adult Winner, Sarah Mills

Hannah said: “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Sarah’s winning poem, ‘Creswell Crags’, especially the part where she asks ‘But what of the future I hear you say. / Who or what will walk this way? / What will be left, what kind of mark? / Will others touch history in the dark?’ This really resonated with me – in these unprecedented times, the question of the future and what kind of legacy or ‘mark’ we’ll leave behind is one everyone can relate to. This poem really expresses the heart of Creswell Crags as a place of heritage and connection. Thank you, Sarah!”

Adults Runner-Up: Kate Innes, ‘I become a tree’

Adult Runner Up, Kate Innes

Hannah said: “Kate’s poem is skilfully written – the language is rich and vibrant, and it was a pleasure to read.”

Thank you to everyone who entered, the standard of poems was incredibly high. Don’t forget that Hannah Cooper-Smithson is currently running an online poetry course, which is free to take part in. The first two videos are already live:

Creswell Crags is raising money to fund reopening after lockdown. If you’re able to donate, even a small amount, you can do so via our JustGiving Page. Every donation is very gratefully received. Thank you.

Please follow us on social media for announcements regarding reopening and when and where the poems will be on display.