On winning, Allison McVety said she found achieving first place in the competition “unfeasible and thrilling”. She said, “In the context of the poem, winning the National is like being the most unlikely candidate for head girl and suddenly, in assembly, hearing your name called out”.
Allison McVety won the Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet competition 2006 with The Night Trotsky Came to Stay (Smith/Doorstop, 2007), and her second collection, Miming Happiness, followed in 2010. For many years an engineer, technical trainer and ITIL service manager at Microsoft, Allison left to manage a digital forensics company. She now works part-time for Smith/Doorstop and is writing her third collection.
Jackie Kay: "We admired the way this poem achieves several things at once. It makes you remember that strange sensation of returning to a book to find it altered only to realise the book hasn’t changed: you have… In three stanzas, this poem captures not just the movement of time (that so obsessed Woolf) but also the passing of time in the poet’s life, the journey from the girl in her exams, to the motherless woman at the end. It is a tour de force. It takes huge leaps and yet is shimmering with small details."
'White Basin' by Lindy Barbour
'Birmingham Roller' by Liz Berry
'In Vitro' by Antony Dunn
'Photograph' by Rosalind Hudis
'How to Furnish an Amercian House' by Helen Klein Ross
'Springtime of the Nations' by S.J. Litherland
'Our Lady of the Pylons' by Ian McEwen
'Blue Poison Dart Frog' by Jon Stone