Kent and Sussex Open Competition

In April, I was awarded second prize in The Kent and Sussex Poetry Society Open Competition 2021 for my poem ‘Elegy for two placentas’.

Here are judge Rishi Dastidar’s comments:

The second prize goes to ‘Elegy for two placentas’ by Vanessa Lampert, attention-grabbing from its title – I can’t ever recall seeing a hymn to the body part. The poem makes its case elegantly, with grace (“Made to be lost / when your work was done”), wit (“I should have said thank you, / though you could not have pleased me then.”) and a keen sense of the humdrum strangeness that bodies are: “Oh unlovely fate of the unlovely. Oh strange trees / of purple flesh and red.”, before resolving to an image that is a prayer of a quiet, intense loveliness, the ‘humble female servants.” This is poem-as-magic spell, efficient in conveying wonder and rapture, reminding you that the everyday is actually quite special.