woman praying in baroque church

Girl in a Cathedral, Heather Cook Hysteria 2022 poetry winner

Heather Cook is the winner of the Poetry category in the 2022 Hysteria Writing Competition. You can find her poem, along with the other finalists from each category in the Hysteria 9 anthology.

Listen to the recording

Read by Rachel Angel during the Hysteria 9 launch party.

Read the poem

As still as any wooden cross or stone
she sits composed in muted browns and greys,
at peace with both the living and the dead
within this soaring, much-loved space.
Now and then she turns and smoothes a page,
or gazes round, a slight smile on her face.
Perhaps she thinks of martyrs, paupers, kings
who have all shared with her this ancient place.
I’m sure she sings and dances, laughs and weeps,
but now her stillness soothes the ones who sleep.


I’m very much a ‘feel it, write it’ poet, seeking to capture the emotions and atmosphere of people, places and things. I have always written poetry and can happily lose myself in the process. I belong to a local writers’ circle, which has been enormously supportive and a great source of inspiration. Now I’m retired and not so physically active as in previous years, I count myself fortunate to have such a rewarding interest. I haven’t yet published a collection, but am thinking of doing so next year. It’s a tremendous boost to do well in competitions, but the main thing to me is to enjoy my writing.

You can meet Heather at Working Writers here: https://wokingwriters.wordpress.com/category/heather-cook/

(Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay)

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