Devon Prize 2008

Winner: Marcus Parnell

Nan's Handbag

Was an open house,
inviting little hands and little eyes.
Adjusting to the darkness and its source
a nose full of her Barley Sugars - atomised.
The hiding place of Crawfords and Peak Freans,
the studded Lincoln, sugar crusted Nice.
A leather barrel rolled in from a dream
A sack of joy where all were free to feast.

Handkerchiefs that fragranced us with safety.
the blunt, friendly ends of knitting needles.
A cotton reel, a British Rail diary.
The scent of warm milk before it curdles.

Far too heavy to carry in any weather,
Grandad was always threatening a trolley.
But somehow, Nan and that handbag
with their reassuring bulk,
held us all together.


Downhill - David Birch

Midnight in the House of Clocks - Andrew Proudfoot

Fallen Angels - Tony Cloke

Landscapes of the Fall - Marion Glasscoe

Devon poems were short listed by the judging panel, and the winners and runners-up were picked by Devon County Council staff. The winner and runners-up were read on BBC Devon.