It is the compilation of runners up and the three winners from both Poetry and Short Fiction which was judged by Simon Armitage and Joanne Harris in the Grist Competition run in May 2008. The idea of Grist itself is born from the inspirational mind of Michael Stewart, a Creative Writing tutor at Huddersfield University and also a key player in the 4th Huddersfield Literature Festival this year.
I myself was a student personally tutored by him in my English Studies with Creative Writing degree and as I was Book & Fiction Sub-editor at the Huddersfield Student Newspaper during my final year I worked closely with him not only to promote the Grist competition which he made free to the University's students but also advertising the many brilliant literature events he organised during the festival. See Huddersfield Student E-Archive links down the right hand side.
The Peacock Lounge in Huddersfield quickly became filled from 7pm with not just fans and followers of Grist but also the Winners and runners up author and poets who were soon take turns upon stage to read their work out. I myself was sat next to one of the runner up poets who had come all the way from Ireland to read her poem titled 'Flight of Swallows' which was inspired through her helpless feeling when her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. However Michael himself had to step up on stage to read quite a few extracts from the short stories as several authors couldn't attend. But all readers Michael included did a fantastic job of telling their story or poem, one in particular, Gareth Durasow (I think I've got his name right) did a very dramatic by heart performance of his poem 'Poem for the Love Lane Crow). Local poets David Gill and Gaia Holmes also turned up for the event as they too contributed some of their work to this Anthology.
On the whole the entire night was very enjoyable and became extremely entertaining at the end with a musical literary suprise in the form of JazzT (aka David Gill a local poet and Poetry tutor at the University of Huddersfield) singing a few songs of his own. He wasn't bad, he wasn't fantastic but he was very entertaining and ended the night on a high.
To learn more about Grist, the competition and other details please visit www.hud.ac.uk/grist .