A pat on the back

This blog  is my pat on my back. Why not? And if there are trumpets to blow, then I’ll take  a deep breath now…

I may not have been shortlisted for the flash fiction story competition, which I mentioned in an  earlier blog, but I have been awarded second place in the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (SWWJ) annual poetry competition – The Elizabeth Longford Rose Bowl for Poetry 2023. The theme this year was ‘Growth’. My poem is called ‘The Madiba Shirt’.

No Rose Bowl for me, but instead I received a certificate, a copy of the judge’s report. Oh, and £50.  It’s wonderful to receive feedback from the judge, Cheryl Moskowitz  – very complimentary which boosts one’s morale.

The judge wrote:  that she had to look up Madiba shirt and learned that it was a loose-fitting, colourful silk shirt made famous in the 90s when, after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela took to wearing them for all occasions.

‘The Madiba Shirt’ considers the competition theme in a surprising way.The growth of an industry, the growth of one man’s fame, reputation and recognition. The way that something, or someone [the designer Desre Buirski in this case] that might begin in a small and humble way, can grow into a phenomenon that will one day impact an entire world. I was utterly charmed and educated by this poem – a splendid piece of writing.

The name ‘Madiba’ comes from Mandela’s Xhosa clan name.

You can read more about Mandela’s shirts 

My poem is not yet available.