An article in his local paper has left Billinge poet Owen Lowery £1,000 richer. Owen (37) started writing poetry a year ago but when he saw an article about a national competition, he decided to "have a go".
The article asked for entries to a £1,000 national competition, requesting poetry about your home town.
"When I saw the title of Owen's poem – Ode to Billinge – I thought, how can anyone make an interesting poem out of a title like that," said United Press Director, Peter Quinn, who judged the the competition which received over 9,000 entries. "But Owen managed to do it. It's a great poem and just shows what a beginner can achieve. Owen is so serious about poetry that he can go on to even greater things."
Owen, who is disabled after a teenage judo accident, started a creative writing course at Bolton University last year under the tutelage of John Glover, a published poet.
"I did a lot of research for my poem in which I wanted to reflect the fact that Billinge is a small town which has to struggle to find its own identity because of its position between several big towns," explained Owen. "I didn't think a poem about a town like Billinge would have a chance of winning a big national competition but it's my town and I wanted to write about it."
"That's what makes Owen's poem stand out from the rest," explained Peter Quinn. "His subject matter is a challenge but the result is truly impressive. That's what makes a great poem."