We are so pleased with this submissions to this year’s contest! We had an outstanding number, and our contest was publicized by organizations including the League of Canadian Poets and the Canadian Authors Association, so thank you to all those who shared news of our contest!
A huge debt of gratitude to our wonderful judge, accomplished poet KV Skene, who was so generous both with her time and her comments. As KV told us: “I was immediately intrigued with the diverse interpretations of the ‘World of Poetry’ theme displayed by the entrants of the Brooklin Poetry Society’s 3rd annual Poetry Contest and totally impressed by the high quality of their work. This, I realized, was not going to be easy. Every poem was read, reread and read again and every day I changed my mind. Again. However, eventually, decisions do have to be made.”
Many thanks as well to all the poets who entrusted us with their poetry. Entering a contest can be a daunting task, and it takes courage to submit knowing full well that the risk of rejection can be greater than the chance of winning a small number of coveted prizes. So, to all those who submitted, we hope you’ll celebrate having taken the risk and congratulate yourselves on the general acrobatic act of writing poetry in the first place!
And now, for the winners. First place goes to Anna Yin for her poem, “Ask”. Here’s what our judge, KV Skene had to say about this poem: “A sad, sensuous poem — after Qu Yuan (Chinese poet, 340-278 BCE). Its otherworldliness suggestively envelopes you, particularly in the following lines:
“My heart is wrapped by leaves of reeds.
unfolding then closing –”
Its last stanza subtly evokes Eliot’s ‘April is the cruelest month’. Perfect. “
The second place prize goes to Bänoo Zan, for her poem, “Naming Ceremony”. In the words of our judge: “Divided into three sections, Naming Ceremony is a meaningful, many-layered poem, beautifully executed as it keeps unfolding more and more of itself:
“her eyes round
of the forest
she has become – “
“Naming Ceremony” is a poem that greatly rewards multiple readings.”
Our third place prize goes to Marsha Barber for her poem, “Taking His Hand”. Here’s what KV had to say about this poem: “A deceptively simply poem that tells an all-too-familiar story for TTC habitués – and a great example of Coleridge’s dictum – i.e. ‘the best words in the best order’, for instance:
“a personal injury
at track level
those of us in the subway car
will not meet
one another’s eyes.”
“It almost breaks your heart.”
Our three honourable mentions this year are by Mansour Noorbakhsh, “Till You Recognize Me”; Andrea O’Farrell, “Hiroshima Moon”; and Lynn Tait, “The Blue Belief of Dreams”. You can read all the poems under the Poetry Contests page.
KV also wanted to cite a few other poems that, while they didn’t win any of the above awards, were worthy of mention: Natalie Fraser, for her poem, “Silence”; Christine Lyons for her poem, “The Raging River”; and Debbie Okun Hill for her poem, “He Had the Face of Putto”.
Once again, thank you to our amazing judge, KV Skene, and to all who submitted. What a fantastic contest, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading the winning selections. Until next year!
Renée M. Sgroi, Past President and FJ Doucet, President