'Freedom' competition Judge's Report
JUDGE’S REPORT FOR 2017 ADELAIDE PLAINS POETRY COMPETITION – THEME: FREEDOM
By Jude Aquilina
I felt privileged to be the judge for a competition with such an important and inspiring theme as FREEDOM. Thank you to all the poets who entered – you reminded me of the many different forms that freedom can take. These included: freedom from war; freedom of speech and thought; freedom in retirement and through travel; through bushwalking and horse riding; freedom from a refugee’s point of view; freedom in nature; freedom from abuse, racism and ageism; freedom through religion and freedom through zen; freedom in self-sufficiency and going off the grid; even freedom in death from suffering and freedom to reunite with loved ones in the afterlife. Congratulations to the competition organisers for choosing such a wide-ranging and thought-provoking theme.
The quality of the poetry was extremely high, in every section, making my job as judge difficult. Many more poems than I can mention deserve praise. And I was especially thrilled to read so many amazing poems by school students. I know the future of poetry is in good hands.
In the Primary School Section I chose four poems to Commend:
· Feeling Free (1) Lorena Burford - Horizon Christian School
· Freedom (18) Amelie Kowald – Domino Servite College
· Camping Moment (3) Sophie Manuel - Horizon Christian School
· Waking up on Saturday (8) Benjamin Trinkle – Domino Servite College
And I chose the poem The Freedom to Read (17) to Highly Commend Kezia Ziegelmann – Domino Servite College
For Third Prize, I chose a poem titled Charlotte and her eggs (6) Alexandra Hill – Tea Tree Gully Primary School – a clever and unusual poem, with rich poetic language and apt use of the senses.
For Second Prize, I chose the poem titled Freedom in Science (14) Wesley Trinkle – Domino Servite College – this enthusiastic account of the freedom, wonder and creativity in science, had me thinking and kept me smiling. This young poet has captured the thrill and passion in engaging in creative thoughts and experiments.
First Prize goes to a poem titled Freedom for me (16) Brandon George – Domino Servite College - a beautiful and vivid poem about finding freedom in the Australian countryside, when, I quote, ‘the evening shines like brass’. With images like this, I was transported me to another place. Congratulations to a poet with a talent for painting word-scapes!
In the Secondary School Section I chose three poems to Commend:
· The Beautiful Word (25) Amal Tlaa – Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College
· What is it? (28) Olivia Hayes – Domino Servite College
· I wanted to fly in the beautiful sky (12) Jasit Kaur – Domino Servite College
And I Highly Commended three poems:
· What happened to our acceptance? (6) Chloe Wightman – Domino Servite College
· Freedom is a funny word, isn’t it? (5) Jesse Blakers – Hawker College
· Why would you wear something so inappropriate (4) Freya Cox - The Friends School
For Third Prize in the Secondary School Section, I chose a poem titled Freedom Lies in Being Bold (8) – Aimy Tran - Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College - a mature, intelligent poem that is a reminder of what women have achieved, and what is yet to be achieved in regards to equality. This is a bold and thought-provoking poem.
I chose, for Second Prize a poem titled A white blanket laid over Syria (13) – Rabjot Kaur - Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College The poem relates vivid images of human suffering and gives the war in Syria a human face. This is a memorable, emotive poem that does not shy away from truth; an important narrative that needs to be written and read.
First Prize is awarded to a vivid lyrical poem simply titled Freedom (2) – Maya Chromik – Horizon Christian School. This poetic list of images captures the sense of freedom that we, here in Australia, are fortunate to enjoy free of charge, like, I quote ‘collecting stars at night’ and ‘finding dirt roads that lead to the unknown. This clever poet has put together a collage of positive experiences to capture the theme of Freedom in a clever and resonating way. Congratulations!
In the Open Section, there were many great poems that addressed the theme of Freedom in quirky ways like the three poems I award Commendations:
· The Cost of Zen (55) Helen Thurloe
· a peregrine falcon (86) Claire Albrecht
· Child of My Heart 928) Shelley Hansen
And I Highly Commended four outstanding poems:
· 1976 (no number) Stephen Smithyman
· Strawberries and Poppies (25) Donna Edwards
· Advance Australia - Fair (29) Chris Richardson
· Moon meeting (62) Nina Scott-Bohanna
Third Prize in the Open Section goes to a poem titled Free at Last (80) Tom McIlveen that takes the reader back to early Australian convict history. Rhyme, rhythm and meter are employed to effect; with this style suiting the era. I also enjoyed the authentic voice and dark humour.
I awarded Second Prize to a poem titled Transitions (84) Kerry Harte an ironic poem with moments of dark humour. The poem is about reading a shiny brochure for a nursing home, in which, I quote, are ‘The faces of the people … bright and bubbly as champagne’. I like this poet’s unfaltering tone and apt imagery.
First Prize goes to a poem titled, Freedom wakes me in the morning (69) Rhonda Cotsell It was a joy to read this intelligent, compassionate take on the theme. The poet focusses on the small things that mean freedom but also encompasses the big picture. This poet has captured the intangible, the essence of what freedom is and what it means. Congratulations to this brilliant poet. May freedom continue to wake you in the morning.
Thank you, Carolyn and the Adelaide Plains Poets for this enlightening experience.
As the President of Adelaide Plains Poets, I thank the judge and of course all of the entrants in this competition, where we received well around 130 poems from around Australia, based on our broad topic of Freedom. As the Competition Secretary I say thank you to all of the lovely poets who sent their work to me and kept me entertained as I read the poems as that came to me in the mail, or by hand. And of course thank you to the teachers involved, keeping love of language alive in the young people they work with every day at their work!
Friday, December 6, 2013
The entry form and guidelines are here on this blog, and the closing date isn't here yet, but is not that long after Christmas - 24 January. That means if you get writing your poem now, you'll have plenty of time to whizz it off to the competition secretary before entries close!
This competition is for Australians only, so sorry, if you don't come from this great southern land!
Have a Merry Christmas, and don't forget to enter the competition - the prizes are pretty good, if you ask me!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
ADELAIDE PLAINS POETS Inc
POETRY COMPETITION 2013/14
- Work entered in this competition must be original, in English, unpublished and not have won a prize in any other competition. Authors retain copyright.
- Theme ‘My Passion’
- Poems entered must in some way refer to the theme
- Open Class - poets 18 years & older
- Junior classes –
- Primary School student (one poem only)
- Secondary School student (one poem only)
- To maintain anonymity, entrant’s name should appear on entry form only, not on poems. Entry forms are to include entrant’s name, address, phone number, titles of poems submitted.
- Entries should be typed where possible, on one side of paper only, one poem to a page
- Poems to be no longer than 60 lines
- Entry fees: Open class $5.00 per poem entered
- Cheques/money orders to be made payable to Adelaide Plains Poets Inc
- Entries to: Competition Secretary, 1594 Germantown Rd REDBANKS SA 5502
- Entries to be received by close of business 24 January 2014 – entries received after this date will not be considered for the competition.
- Authors should retain a copy of their work, entries will not be returned without provision of a SSAE
Sunday, July 21, 2013
The theme for this competition came in part from several different people. The initial idea that led to the theme of 'My Passion', came from an idea from a wanna be politician. This person suggested 'Sport' as a theme. This was rejected as being too narrow, and not interesting enough to poets. We pride ourselves on having themes for our competitions that are broad enough to appeal to creative people with amazing ideas!
On thinking further on the theme though, and having listened to the heartfelt way the proposer spoke of his passion for his particular sport, the idea of passion crept into the possible mix for the theme for this competition. Creative people are passionate people, with passions for life, for words, for Nature, for life!
So, another conversation, this time with the lovely person involved in supporting our competition for the 2012/2013 year. We spoke of Passion, our passions for life, and so the idea of 'My Passion' came into being, with the promise of support again from the 5th Element Unearthed, if 'My Passion' becomes the theme for the 2013/2014 competition.
This idea was put to members of the Adelaide Plains Chapter and Verse group, and held to be a fine idea, and so the decision was made!
If you have a grand passion in your life and you want to share it with the world, put pen to paper and write it down, then send your entry in! The entry form and guidelines are on the right hand side of this page, copy and paste as required. I'll be waiting for your entry/ies!
Many thanks to Tom and Maxine from 5th element unearthed, I love the passion you both put into your lives! (I love your sublime extra virgin olive oil too, by the way!)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Well, we've joined NaWriPoMo - National Write Poem Month, where we will endeavour to write a poem every single day for the month of April. I'm posting my poems to another blog (when I get the right blog, it's this one here I've gotten a little mixed up though and posted two of the poems to another of my blogs - this one here I'm hoping I've got my head screwed on right now, and I won't get mixed up like that again!
I'm enjoying this month, having to write a new poem every day is a joy, not a chore. In fact, today I wrote the poem quite early in the day, and I've just written another one - two poems in one day, and not rubbish poems either.
What I'll do perhaps is just hold onto this afternoon's poem, and post it the the Garden Dog blog tomorrow. It's going to be a busy day tomorrow, and I mightn't have time spare for poem writing. I have noticed though, that poems are creeping up on me and appearing much more easily than at other times.
I'm very much enjoying this month of poetry, and I hope lots of others out there are enjoying it too!
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Yesterday at the Reading, it still deemed like a thing I could easily do. Now though, now that April has actually begun I'm wondering . . . I have actually committed to writing a new poem every day in a month. That was January back in 2011, I think.
That challenge went well enough - I actually ended up writing more than one poem every day. Some of the poems were actually not bad, too, if I do say so myself. Life seems more crowded somehow now though, and I'm wondering - can I really do this?
I suspect that if I quit wondering and start writing, I can meet this challenge. Is anyone else interested in facing this challenge? I know my dear friend Nigel has said he'll do it. Who else is game enough to do it?
I've written my poem for the 1st of April, and I've posted it, and will post all of the other poems I write for April, here:
Thursday, March 14, 2013
This is how I described it on John's blog:
'Re the other subject, I’ve certainly seen a UFO. It was way back when I was a teenager. My brothers and their mates and I were hanging around on our front lawn after school one afternoon, when one of us saw something. It was a light off to the south-east, just above the height of the hills. It moved steadily along, then disappeared. It could have been a helicopter, but certainly not a plane. We never heard anything about any other sightings of it, and I think we just wrote it off as ‘one of those weird things that happen’.
Friday, March 8, 2013
I stuck with that organisation until my son was in my tummy, getting ready to enter the world and our lives. Then I could proudly say - 'I'm a mother, glad to be one!'
After that, it's been a little messier. I'm still a proud mother, as well as wife to young Jake's dad. These two jobs will be with me until I die, and I'm thrilled with that situation. I've had some part time and casual jobs since Jake started school, none of which felt like things I could happily spend many years working at. Then a chronic illness arrived, and I moved into the world of living with a disability. My illness, multiple sclerosis has been an interesting learning curve, and I've spent three years getting used to it all, until I will now say, when and if asked, 'I'm on the disability support pension.'
The whole time I've been doing these things, from ATO officer to pensioner, I've been writing. Sometimes I've written short stories, sometimes poetry. I've begun and abandoned several first drafts of novels. It is only in the past few years, though, that I've happily said out loud, when asked what I do, 'I am a writer and poet.'
I've had short stories and poetry awarded and published. I am a writer and poet. I was a writer and poet well before I ever had anything published or awarded. It's taken me a long time to feel I could call myself those two things, even though that's what I've legitimately been for at least thirty years. I write, so I'm a writer. I write poetry, so I'm a poet.
It seems I'm not the only shy one, sitting at my desk and scribbling or tapping away, hiding from the truth of what I am, a writer and poet. How about your? Do you hide from or cringe away from the fact that you're a writer and/or poet? Face the fact, if your write prose and/or poetry, you are a writer and/or poet. Stand up tall, and take on the terms. Be proud to say clearly and proudly, 'I am a writer!' or 'I am a poet!'
So what about it, are you willing to tell everyone? Please let us know, we're all part of the same game, playing with words and giving them meaning!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Ray is a wonderful person, who has become a friend, and she is a great mentor. Before I began writing my memoir I applied for a grant from the Richard Llewellyn Art and Disability Trust, to pay for a mentor. My application was successful. Ray's name had been mentioned as being a good choice and I'm happy to say I agree, She's been fantastic.
I've written much of my memoir, and I'm working on my third draft (supposed to be anyway). I have some other writing things happening in my life at the moment, so the memoir has taken a back step. Today I saw something that has made me keen to get write back into it though.
Today I saw some pictures done by Simon Kneebone, who I've asked to do illustrations for my memoir. They're fantastic! Some of them are exactly right for what I've written, and I feel like Simon 'gets' what is needed to liven up the book. So, if I'm going to do justice to these fantastic illustrations, I have to get right back into getting my memoir spruced up and made into something wonderful!
Thank you so much, Ray and Simon, and everyone else who's helped me with this memoir, from family, to others with MS, friends, fellow writers and the MS Society SA & NT. You've all helped me in many different ways.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
I was one of five poets selected to be in this collection. We all were required to write a poem for 15 different prompts, focusing on 'Versus'.
This is what the collection will look like, and a little about it all. I'm really looking forward to the book being published, and out there. That will happen soon, by the end of the month, yes, this month! This was all an interesting journey - when I read the 'prompts', I wasn't sure if I could write a poem, for some of them. But I'd said yes, and there was a deadline, so, write I did!
When I have more news about this, I'll pass it on. It will be great to read what the other poets all did with the prompts!
Friday, February 15, 2013
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Great work Martin, I love the way you've taken on poetry and shaken it up and swished it with theatrical dust! Well done. I was pleased to be there on the day, assisting in a tiny way to help this performance come to life in front of us at the Prince Albert Hotel!
I think your performance added a little extra to everyone's performances on the day. It wasn't the biggest number of people we've ever had, but all of the people reading their poetry did a fine job with it. It was great to see a new person come along to see what it's all about. I hope she'll be back with us again, maybe reading her own poetry...
And it was lovely to catch up with Colleen Sweeney, one of my dearest poetic friends. It's been a long time but I'm so glad to have you there with us all!
Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day, and I look forward to seeing you all again next month. Same place, but different time.
Martin Johnson is holding a Fringe event 40ks Out of Gawler. His show starts at our usual time, 2 pm, we're starting two hours earlier - 12 pm, and we'll finish up just before Martin Johnson starts. So if you want to take part in both events, you can! Just let the hotel know beforehand 85221865
I hope to see all of my poet friends there on the day!
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I very much enjoyed reading all of the poems entered, and I'm looking forward to learning which of the poems the judge preferred. The winners of this national competition will be announced at the Gawler Poets at the Pub event in March, that is, at the Gawler Prince Albert Hotel, from 2 pm, on Sunday 31st of March.
There's been an added boost to the prize money, from sponsors, so the prizes are even more bountiful than in the past. Many thanks to Tom and Maxine Varcoe of the 5th Element Unearthed Olive Oil. So if you entered this competition, you will find out what the results are in late March. Those who gave me their email address, or who sent an stamped envelope will be sent the results.
The next exciting thing for the Adelaide Plains Poets, is the short story competition. This is a first for Adelaide Plains Poets, and it comes about because there has been a new group formed, within, or in addition to, the poetry. We now look at longer pieces of writing, and include prose, both fiction and non fiction. This new group is called 'Adelaide Plains Chapter and Verse'.
Members of this group meet weekly at the Prince Albert Hotel in Gawler, on every Thursday, starting at 3.30 and continuing into the afternoon and evening. Sometimes dinner happens, but always writing and talking of writing happens! If you're interested in joining this group, leave a message here!
The group is holding a short story competition - the theme is 'Fairy Tales Twisted Sideways' there is a maximum limit of 2000 words, and entries close on 30 June 2013. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and entry form and guidelines will be sent.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed myself when I was doing my Community Foodie work, helping Primary School students discover the delights of vegetables, and teaching them about poetry, using vegetables as prompts for their writing. Lots of fun, and it was great to be able to combine my love of teaching creative writing to others, and also helping others make better choices about healthy eating. Vegetable Victory is a triumph of Poetic Vegetables! Vegetable Victory
Other fine moments have been when I've written a new poem, and felt blessed to have been able to pen the words. This happens far more often when I'm writing often, not surprisingly. The more one writes, the more one writes well. I think they go together.
I don't ever 'Wait for my muse'. Instead I get down there and write, and if I'm lucky, my muse drops by for a visit. I don't think the muse is interested in me if I'm not trying to write well. Do you agree with me on this?
I'd love to read what you think about this idea, please leave a comment.