On the 19th November, six members of my own writing group, Rugby Writers, were honored at an international awards ceremony at India House, The High Commission of India, London.
We had been chosen as some of the lucky UK winners of the sampad international and British Council’s ‘Inspired by My Museum’ writing competition. There had been over 500 entries submitted from 30 different countries all over the world.
Five of the six, including myself, attended the glamorous event, which took place in the paneled halls of this grand building. Surrounded by portraits of Ghandi and glittering gold murals, we were each presented with a copy of the anthology ‘Inspired by My Museum:International Writing Competition 2013-2014’.
My winning poem, ‘My Ancestor and I’ has been inspired by Leicester’s Jewry Wall Museum’s display of human remains. As with many of the pieces in this anthology, coming face to face with the bones of our ancestors is highly evocative to museum visitors, and it speaks volumes that so many of the winners were inspired by this. Whether or not you believe human remains should be displayed in public museums, it cannot be denied that they provoke a powerful response on a very human level.
My poem was also inspired by the Naseby Battlefield Trust. This is a project to preserve and interpret one of the most important battlefields in England. This was the place where the English Civil War was fought and won, where democracy took over from monarchy in a very physical way.
If you have never visited either of these places, I would thoroughly recommend them.
‘Inspired by My Museum: International Writing Competition 2013-2014’ (ISBN 978-0-9565416-4-2) can be purchased online at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inspired-My-Museum-International-Competition/dp/095654164X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417188794&sr=8-1&keywords=inspired+by+my+museum.
You can visit Jewry Wall Museum in Leicester, and find out about it here: http://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council-services/lc/leicester-city-museums/museums/jewry-wall-museum/
If you wish to support the Naseby Battlefield Project, you can find out more at: http://nasebyproject.co.uk/