Hearing Loss Awareness – Winning Entry

Throughout March we asked you, our amazing Autumn Voices community to submit flash entries on the topic of d/Deafness. We received a number of lovely pieces and made the tough decision of picking a winning entry. We’re thrilled to announce the winner is Wendy Webb. Wendy wins a copy each of Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Sentence courtesy of Faber & Faber and David Lodge’s Deaf Sentence courtesy of Penguin Random House for her winning poem, ‘I’m Not Really. Well, Maybe A Little’.

About Wendy

Wendy (left) with author Elly Griffiths. Photo by Alison Harvey in 2022

Wendy Webb was born in the Midlands and later found her home and family life in Norfolk.

She edited Star Tips poetry magazine from 2001 to 2021 and has been published in several small press magazines (Reach, Quantum Leap, Envoi, Seventh Quarry). Wendy was placed First in Writing Magazine’s pantoum poetry competition and she enjoys devising new poetry forms (Davidian, Magi, etc).

She wrote her father’s biography, Bevin Boy, shortly before his death. She then wrote her own memoir about being a poet.

Wendy reads extensively – from Chaucer to modern-day poets – and is inspired to write in many traditional forms as well as free verse. Her favourite poets, in no particular order, are Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Sophie Hannah, John Burnside, John Betjeman, the Romantic Poets (especially Wordsworth), George Herbert, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Mary Webb, Norman Bissett, William Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Oh, and Bob Dylan, James Blunt, Leonard Cohen and Katie Melua.

She has recently tried online outlets for her work (including Littoral Magazine, and Meek Colin) and has enjoyed the CLANGERS challenges on Autumn Voices. She’s a keen gardener and rides an electric trike – with dodgy knees and dodgy hearing! Isn’t life fun?

I’m Not Really. Well, Maybe A Little

I'm not deaf
I wasn't born deaf.
Deaf people are, well, deaf.
But that's not me,
I was born hearing,
seeing, thinking, walking.
Full compliment.
Except, age creaks up on you.
No, not you, me,
except, it happens to other people. Right?
Because I'm not deaf, I can hear.
What was that you said?
People talk so quietly now.
Ow! Don't shout. I'm not...
Except, please face me when you speak.
Slow down, just a little.
Face masks are a no-no.
I can't lip read.
Except, seeing does help.
Perhaps we all lip read a little.
Subtitles. What, on TV?
But I'm not deaf, I'm really not...
Except, they speak so soft,
change volumes with each report.
Adverts are deafening. Action too.
But dramatic moments are whispered,
poignant. You can see it in the eyes.
Except, why are they whispering.
I missed that.
I agreed? I did?
But, when did you say that... you did?
How could I agree when I didn't hear?
Deaf? Not me.
Old? Definitely not.
Just creaking in the joints a little.
And - you could say - I'm just a tad
hard of hearing.
What? I don't look too young?
Only hear what I want to...
Fabulous, that glass of red
and chocs. Just perfect.
I heard every word, John.
Tom? Well, why did you say John then...

Thank you to all the entrants of the March flash competition, we loved reading each and every one of them. Details of the next one are below!

Our monthly flash theme for April was Dance and Neurodivergence

In April we celebrate both International Dance Day and World Autism Awareness Day and we would love to read your flash submissions in honour of either or both of these themes. Would you like to tell us something about your experience of being an older person who loves to dance, learned to dance or teaches dance? Has dance had a positive impact on your life and health? Are you an older person with an experience of neurodivergence? We’d be honoured to hear about your experience of autism or neurodivergence intersects with your creativity, or about getting a diagnosis later in life.

Entries will be accepted until midnight on April 30th and flash submissions can take the form of a poem, short story or flash memoir. The winning entry will be chosen by the Autumn Voices staff team and the winner will receive a book prize.

One thought on “Hearing Loss Awareness – Winning Entry”

  1. and the winning entry, chosen by Autumn Voices, will receive Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky, published by Faber and Faber and Deaf Sentence by David Lodge, published by Penguin (Harvill Secker).

    Looking forward to them, thanks!

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