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Norwich church poet wins international prize

TimLentonWeb2007: Norwich poet and member of St Augustine’s church, Tim Lenton, has won an international poetry prize and will see his work published in July.
Tim, who is a former chief sub-editor of the Eastern Daily Press, beat runners-up from the USA and the Czech Republic to secure the Second Fish International Poetry Prize.
Tim’s winning poem, The Island Grows On Me, will be published first in the Fish anthology in July.
"I was staggered and at the same time extremely honoured to win this prize,” said a modest Tim. “I've always enjoyed writing poetry, but have only done so consistently and with serious intent over the last few years. This will encourage me to keep at it.
“I do write overtly Christian material as well, but I am most interested in the area where sensuality and spirituality meet, clash and become entangled. I write about lots of other things, of course,” he said.
"I owe a great deal to InPrint, a group of Norwich-based poets and artists with whom I've worked for the last four years. Doing collaborative work with the artists, especially Annette Rolston, has been quite inspirational, and the more experienced poets have been a revelation to me. We will be exhibiting at Open Studios from May 20. See www.inprintartsandpoetry.co.uk.
"As well as incorporating poetry into worship (especially through the Ambient Wonder events - www.emergingchurch.info/stories/ambientwonder/index.htm - but also in more traditional services) at St Augustine's in Norwich, I've been fortunate enough to be able to use writing generally in a church context. I also write liturgy, drama, monologues, prayers and songs for use at St Augustine's.
"It's a small congregation, but they're extremely open and loving. Also I can say that they're pretty much all my friends, which certainly helps!"
“Other than the InPrint poets, I have been inspired by Leonard Cohen, W B Yeats, Dylan Thomas and Gerard Manley Hopkins, and my wife, of course,” said Tim.
Tim still writes a fortnightly semi-humorous commentary page for the EDP in Norwich. You can find some more of Tim’s writings at: www.back2sq1.co.uk
Fish Publishing is an independent publishing company, founded in 1994. It aims to enable writers to have their work published in book format. It is based in County Cork, Ireland.
Here is one of Tim’s poems


Off the map,
there is a legend
Understanding the legend
reveals landmarks on the route,
shows ways it is possible to go,
explains the unexpected landscape
The legend is long and complex:
there is a woman, of course;
there are giants and mythical beasts;
there is death and disappointment
There are many journeys:
crossroads, high places and low;
mountains and deserts
And there are promises:
things that cannot happen come to pass;
there is love, rejoicing and
improved roads
All right, I won’t beat about the bush:
there is resurrection too
but that is right off the map
so far off that it is hard to read
unless you are looking for it
The map seems to work without it
but no-one gets anywhere


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