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Ginkgo Prize

The UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are very proud to partner with Poetry School on the Ginkgo Prize.

We sponsor the category Best Poem of Landscape recognising poems that convey something of the wonder of landscape in all its forms.

Landscape is more than the view - it’s a whole ecosystem of soil, geology, plants, insects, creatures, water, people and culture. The experience of landscape can range from the shock of a freezing splash of sea water to the millisecond of absolute silence before a storm. People have always been part of landscape, sating human needs from pilgrimage to a football kickabout.

We have been thrilled by the range of poems entered in the Ginkgo Prize 2020 and the expression they have given to the human relationship with landscape.

Best Poem of Landscape winner announced

The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty is delighted to announce that Liz Byrne is the winner of the very first Best Poem of Landscape category of the Ginkgo Prize for her poem Anglezarke Moor.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, Arts Commissioning Editor for the Times Jade Cuttle and North Pennines AONB Communications Lead Sarah Hudspeth judged the Landscape category and felt that the winning poem gave an atmospheric insight into the personal relationships we have with landscape.

The poem will be read along with the winners and shortlisted poems of the main Ginkgo Prize at a ceremony in Richmond on 19 May.

Speaking on the partnership with Poetry School, Howard Davies, NAAONB Chief Executive said:

“The relationship between poetry and landscape goes back to the origins of language, and to interpret natural beauty artistically goes to the very root of what it means to be human. We all know how it feels to be stopped in our tracks by the wonder of nature – whether that be in a quiet woodland, before a roiling sea or in the stillness before a storm in a city park. 

The poems entered for the Best Poem of Landscape category of the Ginkgo Prize express the sense of awe nature can bring; from the tiniest spore to incredible unlikeliness of a whole planet so perfectly balanced that life has been able to flourish, and how much we stand to lose if we don’t act to retain this balance.” 

Forest of Bowland AONB - Bowland Fells - Steven Kidd

Angelzarke Moor 

This moor is mine.
Or, at least, I pretend
I own the peat that gives
gently under my feet.

That dark brown
pool of water, acid
and reed-edged.
A monster might lie

just under the surface,
eyes half-closed, gills
palpating, my monster,
my pool.

These furred fells
rise, one behind the other.
Their curved flanks
breathe for me.

Spitler’s Edge,
Will Narr Hill,
Noon Hill,
Rivington Pike.

My skylarks
flirt with the sun,
throats open, sing
a lemon-sherbet song.

Bog cotton rags
flutter. My bouquet.
Pinpricks of light
on the dark.

My ancient limestone
ribs rise up
through thin skin,
rain mapped.

At last, Great Hill.
My long, slow climb
to sky-reaching
cairn of stones.

Would you like to be sent a copy of the
Best Poem of Landscape Competition Anthology 2020? 

​​​​​Click here to
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PDF Version

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The longlist of 20 poems which we have compiled into our first collection.

Shepherd’s Cup
Sharon Black

Surface Tension
Paula Bohince

Anglezarke Moor
Liz Byrne

The Valley as Magician
Zillah Bowes

Spurn Point
Kristina Diprose

St Catherine’s Hill, Winchester
Marie-Louise Eyres

Heptonstall Cemetery
Daniel Fraser

Marsh Rosemary
Linda Goulden

Back Home
Mandy Haggith

Edge of the Mendips
David Hawkins

Mark Kirkbride

Along the Edge
S Leavesley

Martin Malone

Cotswolds Walk
Aoife Mannix

Alwyn Marriage

Sketches of the Western isles
Fred Melnyczuk

Slow Burn
Perin Ruttonsha

Tide Going Out
Mooie Scott

Iain Twiddy

After Rain
Olivia Walwyn