This unique competition gives local writers (younger and older, experienced and starting-out) four minutes each to win over the audience, which votes at the end for the winners of the poetry and prose sections. This year there were seventeen readings, as diverse as ever, recreating everything from confronting prison experiences to sage reflections on youth and age, childhood memories to travels abroad. Any nerves on the part of the participants seemed to be dispelled by the warmth and receptiveness of the 70-strong audience.
While the inimitable James Howard entertained the audience, their votes were counted. And re-counted: voting produced an extremely closely-contested result, with each one of the contestants receiving a share of the points. In the end, Athina Bakirtzidis won the poetry section by one vote from Carmelina Monea, and Frank O’Shea the prose section by one vote from Peter Veenhuizen. Congratulations to you all and thanks for being part of another wonderful People’s Choice. See you next year!