First Place 2019
my grandmother told me that the only reliable form of contraception is pulling out. she has twelve children and doesn’t buy into all that condom business and the pill only ruined her relationship with god and the pope and her gp who to my grandfather’s displeasure joined them in the marital bed every night just to make sure she took it and took it correctly and the fact he’s fatter that my grandfather who’s broader than the iberian peninsula played its part in my grandparents marriage falling apart so she called the pharmacy and cancelled the prescription leaving dr mumford distraught when she said it’s not me it’s you but god and the pope were delighted and brought my grandparents breakfast in bed, god holding the tray the pope walking behind with a bunch of hedge flowers and they had made pancakes which my grandfather’s never eaten but my grandmother who’s been to montpellier once when she was sixteen where she got burnt on the back of her neck and was kissed by a french man named jean-pierre who tasted of cigarettes and smelt like citrus and ate crepes that gleamed like the moon dripping with lemon and honey started to fantasise that my grandfather with his hands like breakers and a back like a tundra and a mouth like a canyon was a french man named jean-pierre who smelt of cigarettes and tasted of citrus and always promised to pull out and always did and at that exact moment the bed that they shared together started to shake and quiver and rise into the air while hundreds of cherubim crawled out of the woodwork with trumpets pressed to their lips while fireworks began to spit and whistle and fizz out from under the bed and god and the pope started to glow gold and the pope slowly unbuttoned his cassock and from under his armpits burst forth a flurry of doves and there clinging to the popes pale doughy belly with two hands was a french man named jean-pierre wet like a baby.
Mathilda Armiger, Norwich
Mathilda is a 17 year old student from Norwich currently studying Film, History of Art and Textiles. She was a winner of Foyles Young Poet of the Year 2018, and a Commended winner in 2017. From 2018 she has been a Young Arts Professional at the National Centre for Writing, where she was part of Engage!, a literary festival in a day programmed and produced by a group of local young people. In the future she hopes to study Film at University, and to one day publish a book.