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Forres woman Denise Rivers wins 2021 King Lear Prizes national poetry competition with 'Cancer Flower'

By Garry McCartney

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Winner Denise Rivers.
Winner Denise Rivers.

A LOCAL woman has won a national arts competition for the over-65s.

Amateur poet Denise Rivers from Forres won first place in the Poetry – Beginner category of the 2021 King Lear Prizes, launched last spring.

Denise’s poem Cancer Flower was inspired by her own experience with the disease and beat thousands of other poetry entries.

She said: “Being able to write poetry helped a lot during treatment. I’m starting a creative writing course soon, and this win has given me much more confidence in my writing ability.”

The King Lear Prizes were launched in March 2020 as a creative outlet for older people stuck at home during the first lockdown. The competition encourages older beginners or amateurs with no professional experience to produce new works

of literature, art and music. The prizes were named after Shakespeare’s play King Lear, written in 1605-1606 during outbreaks of the plague in London.

Leading ceramic artist Kate Malone MBE, who judged the art category, said: “All of the winning entries were unique and full of individual expression. These past months have clearly presented challenges to endure, and the King Lear Prizes are a testimony to art being an expression and a joy. Hooray for creativity, and congratulations to all who entered!”

Denise’s winning poem, as well as the other winning entries, are available to view at www.kinglearprizes.org.uk

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