Pre-Raphaelite Society Poetry Competition

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that my poem ‘The Branding of Elgiva’ has won first place in the Pre-Raphaelite Society’s annual poetry competition. My winning poem will be published in the spring issue of the Society’s Review.

Elgiva by Joanna Boyce Wells, photograph taken at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The competition asked for poems inspired by/responding to the Pre-Raphaelites and their circle. My poem was a short ekphrastic piece after Elgiva (pictured) by Joanna Boyce Wells, which I first saw at the superb National Portrait Gallery exhibition Pre-Raphaelite Sisters. It was so important to me that I write about the work of a female artist. The painting – and my poem – depicts the real-life medieval queen Elgiva, whose face was brutally branded after defeat in war. I was inspired by the way the Pre-Raphaelites painted women, with strength and fierceness.

The Pre-Raphaelite Society was founded in 1988 to celebrate the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. You can find out more about the Society here.

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