Double winning poet Josie Walsh is an ‘inspiration’ say judges

w7127c451 Poet Josie Walsh at Pugneys.
w7127c451 Poet Josie Walsh at Pugneys.
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Poet Josie Walsh scored a historic double in a prize-giving ceremony.

She won the both the Poem of the Year and the Poet of the Year in the Black Horse Poets (BHP) awards, which has never been done before.

Mrs Walsh was named Poet of the Year by BHP patron Mary Creagh MP at Mocca Moocho coffee shop, on Cross Square, last Friday.

The BHP committee, who judged the award, described her as “an inspiration and a model to all of us”.

The committee added: “She has masterminded a unique publishing platform for Wakefield Poets. Week after week for more than a decade, Josie has organised a changing collection of local poetry in the display cases of the Pugneys Centre at Pugneys Country Park.”

She also won the Poem of the Year award, judged by Ms Creagh, for her poem Give Me Another Childhood, one of 14 entries in the competition.

As Poet of the Year, Mrs Walsh receives the Jane Harrison statuette. For her poem of the year, she will receive a trip round the House of Commons with Ms Creagh.

In the Poem of the Year competition, William Thirsk-Gaskill and Simon Widdop received honourable mentions.

Mrs Walsh, who was unable to attend the prize giving, said afterwards: “I miss Jane Harrison’s presence still and should have said so had I been able to be there. I thank the BHP committee for their encouragement, always a tonic for the necessary effort to write and essentially to keep reading and editing.

“I also make a general plea for new poems to do with Pugneys from all members, especially now as it is getting some publicity if only for adverse reasons.”