Sunday, 2 November 2014

Bridgewatcher & Other Poems now shipping

Bridgewatcher & Other Poems

Edited by Mandy Pannett

We are pleased to announce that Bridgewatcher and Other Poems - the anthology of poems from the Psychiatry Research Trust Poetry Competition 2013 has now been published.


Poets featured include Penny Shutt, winner of the first and second prizes, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde, the third prize winner, and the highly commended Nick Pemberton and Katelin Farnsworth. Others are Lydia Suarez, Denise McSheehy, Miriam Patrick, Kate Harmond Allan, Pat Borthwick, Daniel Roy Connelly, Anne Hamlett, A.C. Clarke, Oz Hardwick, Christopher Luck, Sheila Hamilton, Chris McLaughlin, Brigid Murray, Gabriel Griffin, Rehan Qayoom, Mark Totterdell, Alex Hamilton-Brown, Charlotte Gann, E.E. Nobbs, Roger Elkin, Valerie Bridge, Maria Bennett, Jenny Donnison, Mary Oliver, Camilla Lambert, Tony Watts, Margaret Wilmot, Pat Bowen, Robin Lindsay Wilson, Mantz Yorke.


This anthology is published by SPM Publications in association with Excel for Charity.

Buy Paperback from SPM Publications here. or from |

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013


The Psychiatry Research Trust Anthology
Edited by
Mandy Pannett
Publication date: 29 November 2013
1.      PENNY SHUTT – Bridgewatcher (UK)
2.      PENNY SHUTT – Pseudoseizures (UK)
3.      Desmond Kon Zhicheng-MingdĂ© - The Old Schoolyard (Hong Kong)
4.      Desmond Kon Zhicheng-MingdĂ© - Reading Trakl and Wittgenstein in a Barnako Prison
5.      NICK PEMBERTON - picture book (UK)
6.      NICK PEMBERTON – Message to My Son
7.      NICK PEMBERTON – Sorting the Empties
8.      NICK PEMBERTON – Poem for a Younger Wife
9.      KATELIN FARNSWORTH - Faceless flowers (Australia)
10.  LYDIA SUAREZ - The Green Post (USA)
12.  DENISE MCSHEEHY - Addicted
13.  MIRIAM PATRICK - Dwelling Place (UK)
14.  KATE HARMOND ALLAN – Beginning (UK)
15.  PAT BORTHWICK - Vanishing Trick (UK)
16.  Daniel Roy Connelly - Simon Magus (Italy)
17.  Anne Hamlett - Spinning Time (UK)
18.  Anne Hamlett  - You should go ...
19.  A.C. CLARKE - Wild Peter (UK)
20.  A.C. CLARKE – Girl in Bath Street
21.  OZ HARDWICK - Saturday Blues (UK)
22.  OZ HARDWICK – The Gift
23.  OZ HARDWICK – The Mandolin Lesson
24.  CHRISTOPHER LUCK - Till the puffling comes (UK)
25.  SHEILA HAMILTON - Antscape, Hungary (UK)
26.  Chris McLaughlin – Perspective (UK)
27.  BRIGID MURRAY - Seeing the Sun (UK)
28.  BRIGID MURRAY – Hand-Foot Coordinates
29.  GABRIEL GRIFFIN - Web Weaver (Italy)
30.  REHAN QAYOOM - Africa Come Back (UK)
32.  ALEX HAMILTON-BROWN - The Garden (Canada)
33.  CHARLOTTE GANN - Gordon’s (UK)
34.  E.E. Nobbs - Altitudes of Meeting and Parting (Canada)
35.  ROGER ELKIN - Patchwork Language
36.  VALERIE BRIDGE - I remember leaving
37.  MARIA BENNETT – Evening Came and Morning Came (UK)
38.  JENNY DONNISON - Memento Mori (UK)
39.  MARY OLIVER - The Exploding Horse, 1922 (UK)
40.  CAMILLA LAMBERT - Frou-frou at the Panorama
41.  CAMILLA LAMBERT – Acting My Age
42.  TONY WATTS - Five poets take a walk in the country (UK)
43.  MARGARET WILMOT - Bonfire Ashes
44.  PAT BOWEN - Taking the Weight (UK)
45.  PAT BOWEN – Kelp Stalk
47.  MANTZ YORKE – Endurance (UK)
Please direct all enquiries to

Friday, 30 August 2013

The Psychiatry Research Trust Poetry Competition 2013 Results & Judge’s Report




There was a very strong selection of poems entered for this competition.  Maybe an underlying awareness of the chosen charity contributed to the number of poems that came over as both personal and reflective – an overwhelming number touched on the theme of memory, its importance and strengths as well as its transience and loss.


I had no problem choosing my winners. The problems came with the ones I had to leave out. There were many that couldn’t make the final list and I can’t list them all here. I must mention one in particular – ‘The Green Post’. I was sad not to be able to place such an excellent poem.


A quick mention also for the following: ‘Flood’, ‘Dwelling Place’, ‘Beginning’, ‘Kelp Stalk’, ‘Vanishing Trick’ .All these, together with the winning poems and many other strong contenders will, I hope, be in this autumn’s anthology where others may share my enjoyment.


1ST  Bridgewatcher


I have read this piece countless times now and each time it strikes me as faultless, a perfect poem. The reader is led slowly through the situation – a patient who toys with the ‘quivering possibility’ of suicide’ and a psychiatrist/doctor who, while feeling powerless to help except with medication, can  empathise with the horror of the childhood experience of seeing a man ‘let go and drop’ from a bridge into the ‘unshimmering depths’.  The memory of this shocking event includes not only the actual falling but the heart stopping seconds before, the ‘sickening courage/of that hand/letting go of the rail.’ 

‘Bridgewatcher’ is an unforgettable poem, well crafted and written with sensitivity and compassion. An outstanding winner.


2nd  Pseudoseizures


This poem is both beautiful and shocking – beautiful in the way it describes the ‘comfort’ in defencelessness of a seizure and shocking in the relentless detailing of the stages of convulsion and the poignancy of the years of endurance since the ‘original undoing’ of the ‘nine year old self’.

There is so much to admire in this brave and important poem, particularly the poet’s careful and delicate use of language to peel back the layers of an experience in which the seizure itself feels almost orgasmic in its reaching the ‘very crux’ of ‘self-abandonment’.


3rd  The Old School yard


This is a poem about the sadness and pain of nostalgia with its overlay of loss and impermanence.


I have particularly selected this poem as a winner for its choice of evocative details, the careful delineation of the four friends and the need they share for dreams and imagined lives and also for the bitter-sweet poignancy of the ‘litany’ of experiences which may be seen as no more than ‘postcards’ or ‘scrawled prattle’ but which, somewhere in the depths of memory, are still ‘precious’.


Highly Commended:  picture book


It was a joy to find this poem among the entries – the kind of writing I love that explores and imaginatively plays with language. The repetitions of phrases and images are used so skilfully here, revealing layers and layers of meaning through the subtleties of words.


Highly Commended:  Faceless flowers


Here we have an almost unbearably sad poem which I chose for its structure, its back story, its careful selection of details to convey emotions and for such perfect lines as ‘feelings rubbing, battling the days, the sun streaming in, the sky cracking, my words falling like silk.’

A beautiful poem. I wish it could have been placed higher.


My congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all entrants.


Mandy Pannett




First Prize: Bridgewatcher – Penny Shutt (UK)

Second Prize: Pseudoseizures – Penny Shutt

Third Prize: The Old School Yard – Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingde (Hong Kong)

Highly Commended: Picture Book – Nick Pemberton (UK)

Highly Commended: Faceless Flowers - Katelin Farnsworth (Australia)


These poems together with others selected by the judge will be published in the anthology: Bridgewatcher and Other Poems in October 2013. The full list of poems selected for the anthology will be published on the 10th of September.




Sunday, 9 June 2013

Where the Chicken Pecked

By Mary Oliver


It occurs to you one day

that your parents,

like your favourite chicken

they slaughtered for Sunday lunch,

will die.


You lie down in the warm grass

of a sunlit field and you cry.

You cry till they find you.


They put you to bed, still crying.


You hear them outside your bedroom door,

What can it be? It’s not her usual grizzling.


They take it in turns

to come in and sit beside you on your bed.

What is it? You must say.

They even begin to get cross.

But of course you can’t tell them.

You don’t want to hurt their feelings.


The next day you put it behind you,

never give it another thought


not until first one dies

then the other

leaving you a few years in which to enjoy

the freedom of a late orphanage.


You’re thinking about it again now, aren’t you?

Death. You think about it a lot.


You’re thinking how good it’ll be

to return to the field where you cried,

where the chicken pecked.


Where the Chicken Pecked was highly commended in the African Prisons Project Poetry Competition 2013

mary oliverMary Oliver writes from Newlyn, Cornwall.