Melanie Drane is the winner of the National Poetry Competition 2005. Coming from Durham, North Carolina, she is the first international writer to win the competition. For many years poetry remained a largely covert activity for Drane, writing only for “the desk drawer”, until nine years ago when she won a commendation in the National Poetry Competition, the first poetry contest she had ever entered. She then began sending poems out for publications and competitions, achieving great success. She now joins a long list of outstanding poets who have won this prize including Jo Shapcott, Ian Duhig, Colette Bryce and Carol Ann Duffy.