2018 Poetry Competition Results

Time to announce the winners

of the 2018 Poems in the Waiting Room Poetry Competitionkitchen clock

The 2018 competition winners have all been notified, and I’ve emailed everyone, who provided me with an email address, to let them know the results are out. Many thanks to: Otago University Press,  Otago University Bookshop  and Creative Writing Dunedin for providing monetary prizes for our 2018 competition.

The winning poems will appear in the winter edition of the Poems in the Waiting Room poetry card. I intend spending some time over Easter going through all the submissions and selecting any which might be suitable for a future PitWR edition. I’ll be in touch with those poets in due course.

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. Your support will help Poems in the Waiting Room continue to provide free seasonal poetry cards to medical waiting rooms, rest homes, prisons and hospices throughout New Zealand.

Regards,  Ruth Arnison

The results with Lynley Edmeade’s comments are below:

Otago University Press First Prize

“Turn on the light; the dark is getting in my eyes” by Margaret Ranger –  Wellington.

Otago University Book Shop Second Prize

“Talking Books” by Margaret Moores –  Auckland.

Creative Writing Dunedin Third Prize

“To Dog” by Kerri Sullivan–Waikuku Beach.

Highly recommended

“Recovery: St Clair,” by Hayley Rata Hayes, Dunedin.

“The Girl Wishes for a Handlebar Moustache,” by Gail Ingram, Christchurch

“Field Manual,” by Mary Cresswell, Paraparaumu.


Poems in the Waiting Room Poetry Competition 2018

It was a pleasure to judge the Poems in the Waiting Room poetry competition for 2018. The range of poems that were received was incredibly vast and diverse, and made for surprises at each turn, both in terms of the subject matter and style.

The poems that really stood out for me, did so because they all offered fresh ways of seeing the world. There didn’t seem to be any particular style that I was favouring, but all the winners and highly commended pieces that I chose had some kind of peculiar way of showing me something. The writers of these poems also exhibited technical finesse, and this allowed me relax into the subject matter.

Some notes on the winners:

First place: “Turn on the light; the dark is getting in my eyes”

This poem had me, first of all, with the title. It alone really captures something of the childlike inversion that can happen in language (not just with language, but in language). The poem itself tells a little story, and manages the narrative very well; but it also offers a way of seeing that is at once fresh, interesting and playful.

Second place: “Talking Books”

This poem didn’t grab me at first, but was a slow burner. It carries a big weight with it, and so rewards subsequent readings. It is about loss and the pain of loss, but it is also about discovery and the joy of reading. It’s also very well crafted; just enough concrete detail to carry the bigger themes, and managed beautifully.

Third place: “To Dog”

I loved this poem, again for the title’s layer of inversion. It is immediately unexpected, and really reinvigorates the language that is being used. I loved the meditation on the conversation with a canine friend, and the gentle insertion of dialogue. It is whimsical and surprising, and will make many readers smile.

I also selected three highly commended poems: “Recovery: St Clair,” “The Girl Wishes for a Handlebar Moustache,” and “Field Manual.”  These three poems all had something great to offer, whether that was a turn of phrase, craftsmanship, or original imagery.

In general, I was really impressed with the caliber of entries in this competition, and would encourage all entrants to carry on writing, practicing and refining their craft.

Lynley Edmeades

March 2018

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1 Response to 2018 Poetry Competition Results

  1. Aroha says:

    Congratulations🎈🤗 to all the winners. WELL DONE!!!

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