MEET THE JUDGES: Jean Cooper Moran - Poetry
MEET THE JUDGES of our 2022 Hammond House Publishing International Literary Prize
Jean Cooper Moran is one of the judges of the poetry category in our 2022 writing competition.
Jean Cooper Moran won our 2020 International Hammond House Publishing Poetry competition, co-judged our 2021 competition and is delighted to be one of the international panel of poetry judges in 2022.
She’s a member of Forest of Dean group ‘Poets in Progress’, and her work has appeared in anthologies, ‘Survival’ (Hammond House), Dean Writers’ ‘Resilience’ and others. She reads her work on ‘Wildfire Words’ poetry website.
At the Sunday Times/Cheltenham Festival in September 2022, she read her work as part of a programme of poetry events organised by Gloucestershire Writers Network. Because she loves world-building she has self-published a children’s sci-fi/fantasy novel ‘Travellers’, and has a YA historical novel as work in progress. Her play ‘From Stockbridge to Silence’ was produced in Salisbury in 2017 and in 2018 she was runner-up in the Windsor Festival Kenneth Branagh award for Drama Writing. She is a trustee of Wyldwood Arts, a community-based arts outreach programme in the Forest of Dean.
Jean shares her thoughts on this year's Hammond House Publishing poetry competition:
"My first reaction to this year's poetry was admiration for the stunning range of topics our poets developed from the competition theme 'Changes'. It was natural, given that this is the year of COP27, that there would be a thoughtful and emotional focus on the natural world and on the impact of climate change."
"There were also striking poems that explored personal journeys, life-changes, and relationships, and reflections on our shared experience of Covid lockdown, all moving and a privilege to read over and over. It takes courage to put your thoughts down on paper and share them and I respect that. My job is to make a list and to do that I look for the combination of poetic craft and imagination, a sound structure supporting the joy and shock of the new, and surprising – poem."
Jean also shares her personal thoughts on judging:
"As a student of poetic form I'm an avid reader and always look for new forms and ways of constructing a poem around the theme, and this year, again, there are surprises and delights. Some poets explore the possibilities of a multi-lingual presentation, others create new ways of using form and structure and it's always a privilege to study these over the weeks of judging and explore the poet's vision."
"I love it when poets take risks and when it comes off, it’s thrilling, The sheer variety of themes attracts me, as does the courage to test the medium shown by many entries. I love the use of language to reveal a new way of seeing the world, saying 'have you thought of it in this way?', surprising us, sharing a vision and touching our hearts."