Chichester mariners poetry competition to be judged by Ian McMillan

A CHICHESTER charity is launching a national limerick competition to find the best seafaring poem.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society, which provides financial support and advice to retired seafarers in need, is launching its inaugural Seafaring Limerick Competition, set to be judged by the Bard of Barnsley and renowned English poet Ian McMillan.

This will be ahead of World Poetry Day on March 21.

Mr McMillan, who is poet-in-residence for English National Opera and a regular on Have I Got News For You? has strong maritime connections, with his father having served in the royal navy.

Participants are being encouraged to pen a five-line poem about the ocean and the men and women who dedicate their lives to working at sea, and all the challenges this entails.

Chief executive Malcolm Williams, said: “We are delighted to be launching this new competition which in a fun way is designed to celebrate both life at sea and those who work day in day out with the ocean, whether, fishing its depths, protecting our shores or transporting the products we take for granted in our daily lives.

“Having someone with the talent and reputation of Ian McMillan to judge our winner is a great honour for the society and is especially fitting given his own maritime connections.”

The number of requests it receives for support are anticipated to increase further in 2012.

To enter the competition and for more information visit or the society’s Facebook page at

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday, March 9.