Monday, July 28, 2014

Dunedin’s young poets shine

The inaugural Dunedin Secondary Schools Poetry Competition has produced some outstanding work from Dunedin’s young poets. Competition judge Sue Wootton was delighted with the quality of the 51 entries. As well as the 3 winning poems, Sue also highly commended 5 others.

“Wordsworth stated that the poet’s craft is a matter of putting ‘the best words in the best order’. The winning poems all show that quality. To use a musical analogy, each is well-tuned for the particular song it wants to sing” said Sue.
The three winning poems were works that stretched things to a more demanding level, linguistically, poetically and philosophically.

First:                         “Keeping up appearances” by Josephine Devereux (Year 13 Logan Park High School). Intelligent and tightly-written, this poem questions values, destabilises word meanings, and turns on a burning core. 
Second:                     "Gracious" by Molly Crighton (Year 9 Columba College). “Gracious” is a sophisticated sonnet with great control of rhyme and rhythm, and an elegant feel which fits its theme beautifully.
Third:                       “A man’s world” by Jacobi Kohu-Morris (Year 12 Logan Park). This poem’s witty and ironic images deconstruct and de-sanitise a historical moment, opening it up for new interpretations. 

Highly commended:    “Duteous” by Josephine Devereux (Year 13 Logan Park). Succinct, brutal writing to make a brutal point.
                                “Life is fun” by Christen Jellone (Year 9 Taieri College). Great spacing and line breaks which enhance the upbeat energy of the poem’s words.
                                “The obligation” by Josephine Devereux (Year 13 Logan Park). Prose poem which offers an intense but well-controlled glimpse of the true nature of a relationship.
                                “Violin solo” by Ellen Waite (Year 10 Columba College). Beautifully captures the sweet ache of powerful music.
                                “We’ll cross that bridge” by Abigail Nardo (Year 10 Logan Park). A poem that wittily refreshes an old metaphor.

The three winning poems will be featured on billboard posters distributed as part of National Poetry Day celebrations to shops, libraries and all Dunedin intermediate and secondary schools. 
The three winning poets won a $50 book voucher from the University Book Shop. Each winning poet and those highly commended will also read their work as part of Dunedin’s premiere National Poetry Day event. This year the event will be held from 6-7.30 pm on Friday 22 August at the Dunningham Suite, Dunedin Public Library and feature:
·         Vincent O’Sullivan (New Zealand’s Poet Laureate)
·         Helen Rickerby (Wellington poet and publisher)
·         Owen Marshall (esteemed novelist, story-writer and poet)
·         Emma Neale (Dunedin poet and novelist)

Further details available at

No comments: