Sir Stanley Spencer (1891–1959) was undoubtedly one of the most admired and influential English painters of the twentieth century. Cookham was a major influence on both his life and painting and his reference to the place as ‘a village in Heaven’ is reflected in his famous series of paintings of Biblical scenes featuring local people.
The 2017 Cookham Festival’s Stanley Spencer Poetry Competition invited poets to find inspiration for their own art in the work of this remarkable man. Stanley Spencer Poems An Anthology publishes a selection from the entries to the competition chosen by its judges, Jane Draycott, Carolyn Leder, and Peter Robinson. From this gathering, the shortlist of commended entries and the prize winners were then drawn. These carefully selected and sequenced poems are presented here in the company of appropriate images reflecting this painter’s extraordinary life and works.