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.
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.