John Stammers came third in the National Poetry Competition 2009 with his poem 'Mr Punch in Soho', which features in his collection Interior Night.

There were over 10,000 entries for the competition making it a very difficult decision for judges Ruth Padel, Daljit Nagra and Neil Rollinson. Daljit Nagra said of John's poem that it was

'an arresting poem that approached its dark subject matter head on with a succession of alarmingly witty images that are vividly phrased. A shocking poem that takes the reader to a very uncomfortable place.'

The National Poetry Competition is run annually by the Poetry Society. Past winners include Phillip Gross and Carol Ann Duffy. For more information visit the Poetry Society website.