THE Ledbury Reporter's Gary Bills-Geddes was in leafy Surrey for National Poetry Day, October 3, where he gave a poetry reading of his own work at the Cranleigh Arts Centre.

He was invited there to read after winning first prize in a poetry competition organised by the Guildford-based publishers, Dempsey and Windle.

Gary said: "I was one of three poets to secure first prize in their competition for National Poetry Day and I gave a ten-minute reading, which I think went down well.

"I met great people at great venue, for a memorable experience."

Gary, who also compiles the entertainments pages for the Worcester News, has published two full collections of poetry, and in May his first novel, "A Letter for Alice" was published by a New-York based publisher.

Last year, he was one of three judges for the Poetry on the Lake competition in Italy, and his work has been translated into Italian and German.