On 28th March the winners of the 2017 National Poetry Competition were announced at a glitzy gathering at the Savile Club in Mayfair. 'AngelBat' (see Archive) was one of ten poems to be shortlisted from the approx 13,000 entries submitted.
Summarizing the judges' decision Pascale Petit wrote:
"What a pleasure it was to come across ‘AngelBat’ with its playfulness and surprise ending. It’s a poem that feels like it wrote itself, the language transparent and relaxed. There is the love of the parent for the child, the child for the parent, and a mischievous goddess’s love for the world and all in it. The tone is airy and celebratory – and the lines capture the exuberant energy of a baby, and of a parent energised and learning from a baby. As I read it I felt as if I too was being swung upside-down and dangled. I loved the way the game kept shifting unpredictably. Who is being swung and who is doing the swinging? Why is the baby so wise and grown-up? Why does the parent want to swap places? The answers could be weighty, but their treatment is light. It is hard to write happiness, but ‘AngelBat’ turns philosophical insights about our human condition into a hybrid bat-angel of wonder."