FOUR poets in Chard, South Petherton, East Chinnock and Frampton in Dorset have won prizes in Petherton Poetry Please! run by Petherton Arts Trust to coincide with yesterday's National Poetry Day.

Their work was selected from 69 entries and will be read out at a Live Poetry Evening at The David Hall in South Petherton on Saturday.

Clive Sanders, of Chard, who served 37 years in the Royal Corps of Signals and moved to Somerset ten years ago, won the adult category with his poem, The Man at the Back of the Church, which reflects on his time in Bosnia.

Frampton schoolboy William Musk, 12, won the category for eight- to 14 year-olds with The Midnight Zombie, which one judge described as “very scary”.

There are two Special Mentions in the adult group, both for poems which make light-hearted and clever use of words.

The poets are Joanna Cox, of Weston Street, East Chinnock, with Eve’s Pudding, and South Petherton villager and town librarian Marnie Doble, for Fish.

Mr Sanders will receive a cheque for £40 and William Musk has won a £15 book token. The two Special Mentions will each be awarded £20.

The prizes have been sponsored by Kate Vanovitch, the Petherton Arts Trust member who initiated the competition last year – she has awarded them in memory of her late mother, Betty, who lived next door to The David Hall.

“My mum was more at ease inside poetry than anywhere else,” said Kate, a translator, who was a judge again this year, alongside last year’s winner in the adult group, Nigel Birket of Ilminster, a David Hall volunteer.

Cath Langdon, known as ‘the Pam Ayres of South Petherton’, was also a judge for the second year. She writes amusing verse about “life’s little troubles”.

William Musk, Joanna Cox and Marnie Doble will perform their work at The David Hall alongside professional poets Jonny Fluffypunk and Lucy Lepchani.

Mr Sanders is unable to attend, so his poem will be read by Kate. The Live Poetry Evening at The David Hall begins at 8pm, and tickets at £7 can be booked and paid for at Tickets can also be purchased at N&D News in St James Street, South Petherton, and reserved on 01460-240340, or you can email