Adjudicators Report


The entries for the Frogmore Prize this year were of a very high standard, which made judging a hard but not impossible task. It has to be said that the kind of poetry I like is not to everyone's taste, and I was attracted to poems which explored the real world or difficult and painful situations, so I had to be careful not to dismiss certain poems which did quite different things very well. By a strange coincidence, during the time I was painstakingly reading through the manuscripts submitted, a young girl was abducted and murdered in West Sussex. I had already picked out The Man Who is Out There (Ann Alexander) as a chilling piece of work with just that skill needed to tackle such an emotive subject. A comparatively short poem, it impressed me, and it remained at the top of my list. This is the Life (Robin Ford) was my second choice: a quite different poem about the possibility of evasion, and other deeper meanings revealing themselves, like the brevity of life itself, and the change of times and places. Adoption (Kathryn Hill) for third place, because it expresses that sense of loss without being self-indulgent in any way. This must have been written by a woman. I hope so.

Elizabeth Bartlett
Burgess Hill
July 2000


Editor's note: 465 poems were submitted for this year's prize.

The winner, and runners-up are included here


  The Man Who is Out There (Ann Alexander)
  This is the Life (Robin Ford)
  Adoption (Kathryn Hill)