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POETRY PLEASE FOR PEVENSEY: Published poet, Philipa Couglan to add a competition to the array of events to celebrate VE DAY 75 in locality.

The poetry competition, which will be showcased with winners receiving their awards at an event hosted by the Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay. looks sets to add an original element to proceedings over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The VE Day 75 celebrations will mark the moment when the guns fell silent in Europe at the end of the Second World War. The new Bank Holiday weekend is designated by the Government between 8-10 May this year. Winston Churchill on VE Day said “”My dear friends, this is your hour.”

When VE Day dawns on 8 May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved – ones and to hope for the future.

A new government website says, “it will be an opportunity for us all to remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to joyously celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe.

Friday 8 May 2020 will see licensing hours extended to enable as many towns, parishes, district, community and other councils, along with individuals, voluntary organisations, the holiday and hospitality industry including pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels, to join in the VE Day 75 celebrations.

Here in Pevensey Bay, Pevensey, Westham, Normans Bay and the locality, the homegrown response planned will see a variety of events.

Philipa writes, “as part of the forthcoming VE Day 75th Anniversary Commemorations a Poetry Competition is taking place. It will culminate in the winning poems being read as part of an event ‘Pevensey at War’ – poetry evening and dinner at The Bay Hotel, Pevensey Bay beginning at 7pm on Friday 8th May 2020″.

She adds, “the competition is open to all residents in the area with the theme: PEVENSEY AT WAR”.

There will be three categories:
• Children up to the age of 11 involving the local school
• 11-18 years olds
• Adult

Any form of verse is welcome with a maximum of 50 lines. Entries open: Sunday 1st March 2020 Closing Date: Monday 20th April 2020

Entries can be emailed to info@pevenseybaylife.co.uk

Two of the judges are University of Sussex alumni. The third is a University of Sussex undergraduate.

The first judge for the competition is published poet, Philipa Couglan, she was an MA Postgraduate student in English Literature (1700-1900) from the University of Sussex.

Poet Philipa said, “before we know it we will be at the opening date for entries. Thanks to everyone for the support with this competition, particularly Maria Snow at the Bay Hotel”.

The second judge is, University of Sussex English and Philosophy student, Liam Harper.  Twenty one year old Liam, whose favourite writer is Albert Camus said, “what a fantastic honour to have been chosen as one of the judges for the competition – I’d be glad to! I’ve been reading a lot of poetry of the Great War lately. I also bought my housemate a collection of Siegfried Sassoon war poems for his birthday yesterday”.

Albert Camus was born in Algeria to French parents. He spent his childhood in a poor neighbourhood and later studied philosophy at the University of Algiers. He was in Paris when the Germans invaded France during World War II. Camus finally joined the French Resistance where he served as editor-in-chief at Combat, an outlawed newspaper.

The third judge is editor of the Pevensey Bay Journal, Simon Montgomery.

Simon said, “I studied the ninety thirties poets for my final dissertation at University of Sussex as an undergraduate, and have been an English teacher for 44 years”.

He added that he “hoped to be able to look at the poetry sent in carefully and with experience,” and that what he was looking for is two things, simplicity and originality”.

Published poet Philipa Couglan is a recent resident in the locality. Her previous home in Nottingham saw her adopting a role in the Nottingham Literature Festival in 2018 at which she organised an original and well received “D.H. Lawrence cream tea”.

Her involvement in the planning of the VE Day 75 local celebrations is already being seen as adding an inspirational dimension to proceedings.

Philipa explained that “winners and highly commended entrants will receive certificates” and also that “there will be prizes for the three main winners”.

She added “winners will hopefully be available to attend the event on the evening of 8th May”.

Philipa ended her media release about the POETRY PLEASE, part of the local VE Day 75 Celebrations by saying, “I have been inspired to read some poets from World War II, many previously unknown to me, and many, who also tragically died very young whilst serving their country.

“Such a loss again of potential talent. I am a poet/writer who has returned to the area and have instantly been inspired by the sea and the surrounding countryside.

“Now thinking of the war that was taking place in the sky above here during those years, there is much again to inspire poets of today.

For more information about Poetry Please and the Poetry Competition to accompany the VE Day 75 Celebrations in the locality, you can contact Philipa Couglan here
pcoughlan@btinternet.com or telephone mobile 07519 143770

Entries open: Sunday 1st March 2020 Closing Date: Monday 20th April 2020. There are to be three awards (one in each category). each award will be a £40:00 book token from Waterstones Book Shop in Eastbourne. Sponsors for the Children up to the age of 11 category, involving the local school, are to be Harper Hair Co in Pevensey Bay. Sponsors for the other two categories will be announced closer to the competition opening date.