Poet Simon Maddrell has been highly commended in a poetry competition with an entry about Knockaloe internment camp.

Knockaloe Camp was chosen as one of five highly commended poems out of nearly 800 entries in the McLellan Poetry Competition, one of the cornerstones of the McLellan Arts Festival on the Scottish Isle of Arran.

Simon was inspired to write the poem after visiting the site of the First World War civilian internment camp and reading an article by Kit Heyam published in Critical Military Studies about gender non-conformity. The researcher discusses the interpretation and curation of surviving glass plate slides from the camp.

They show internees, all assigned male at birth, presenting as female in various situations.

In the article Kit argues for a more mindful approach to the use of gendered language.

Simon said: ‘I was inspired to take up the challenge of a poetic curation of the photos - and the possibilities of what they could represent.’

Simon said he was delighted that the poem was highly commended in the competition, which was judged by TS Eliot prize winner Joelle Taylor.

And he will be reading it at the McLellan Poetry Fringe on the Isle of Arran in May next year.

Simon, who was born in the island but now lives in Brighton and Hove, launched his latest collection, The Whole Island, with a reading tour in venues across the island in June.

Published by Valley Press, it explores themes of family and folklore, history and language, and nature and wildlife.