GOTHIC melodrama and comedy came together in Caerleon at the launch of the second annual All Wales Comic Verse competition.

The event was started last year as part of the Caerleon Arts Festival, and attracted more than 120 entries on subjects as varied as the after-effects of curry, the problems of ageing, and a song from The Sound of Music.

A poem about the latter, speculating on what Julie Andrews' character Maria leaves out of her list of favourite things, scooped the £500 first prize, and organisers are hoping for a similarly broad range of entries and inspirations this time around.

This year's competition was launched outside the house where the author Arthur Machen was born 150 years ago, an anniversary also being celebrated during the festival, which is held in July.

Newport poet Goff Morgan donned suitably late Victorian attire and recited his poem Nevermore To Part (A Gothic Romance) at the front door of 33 High Street, to formally declare the competition open.

This year's winner will again receive £500, with prizes of £300 and £200 also up for grabs for the writers of poems placed second and third.

The closing date for entries is May 1 and successful finalists will be invited to perform at the Priory Hotel, Caerleon, on Sunday July 14.

Further details and an entry form are available at