'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.

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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!

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In the Secondary School Section I chose three poems to Commend:

· The Beautiful Word (25) Amal TlaaOur 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!

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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.

Jude Aquilina

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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!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The new Poetry Competition

So the word is now out concerning Adelaide Plains Poets new poetry competition! The theme is "Climate", and the poet is welcome to use it however they wish. Climate Change is certainly the big one at the moment, but there are other ways of using the word.

http://www.yourdictionary.com/climate gives this definition:



Climate

   [klīmət]
noun
  1. The definition of climate is the weather of a location over time or the environment or mood.
    1. An example of climate is when it is snowy and rainy.
    2. An example of climate is an economic boom time.
YourDictionary definition and usage example. Copyright © 2014 by LoveToKnow Corp


Iceland has a very cold climate.
Iceland has a very cold climate.
Licensed from iStockPhoto

climate




noun
  1. the prevailing or average weather conditions of a place, as determined by the temperature and meteorological changes over a period of years
  2. any prevailing conditions affecting life, activity, etc.: a favorable climate of opinion
  3. a region with certain prevailing weather conditions: to move to a warmer climate
Origin of climate
Middle English climat ; from Old French ; from Late Latin clima ; from Classical Greek klima, region, zone ; from base of klinein, to slope (see incline): origin, originally , slope of the earth from the equator toward the poles
Related Forms:
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. 
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



climate




noun
  1. The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.
  2. A region of the earth having particular meteorological conditions: lives in a cold climate.
  3. A prevailing condition or set of attitudes in human affairs: a climate of unrest.
Origin of climate
Middle English climat, from Old French, from Late Latin clima, climat-, from Greek klimasurface of the earth, region; seeklei- in Indo-European roots.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition Copyright © 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


climate




See also environmentweather
climatographythe science of the description of climate. —climatographer, n. —climatographicaladj.climatologythe science that studies climate or climatic conditions. —climatologistn. —climatologic, climatologicaladj.cryptoclimatethe climate of the inside of a building, airliner, or space ship, as distinguished from that on the outside.hyetographythe study of the geographical distribution of rainfall by annual totals. —hyetographic, hyetographicaladj.meteorologythe science that studies climate and weather variations. —meteorologie, meteorologicaladj. —meteorologistn.microclimatology1. the study of minute gradations in climate that are due to the nature of the terrain. 2. the study of microclimates or climates of limited areas, as houses or communities. —microclimatologist, n. —microclimatologic, microclimatologicaladj.phenologythe branch of biology that studies the relation between variations in climate and periodic biological phenomena, as the migration of birds or the flowering of plants. —phenologistn. —phenologic, phenologicaladj.
Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


climate




Noun
(plural climates)
  1. The long-term manifestations of weather and other atmospheric conditions in a given area or country, now usually represented by the statistical summary of its weather conditions during a period long enough to ensure that representative values are obtained (generally 30 years).
  2. (figuratively) The context in general of a particular political, moral etc. situation.
    Industries that require a lot of fossil fuels are unlikely to be popular in the current political climate.
Related terms
Verb
(third-person singular simple present climates, present participle climating, simple past and past participle climated)
  1. (poetic, obsolete) To dwell.
Origin
From French climat, from Latin clima, from Ancient Greek κλίμα (klima, “inclination”), from κλίνω (klinō, “to slope, incline”) (from which also cline), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (English lean).
English Wiktionary. Available under CC-BY-SA license.

Sentence Examples

» more...

  • This part of Arkansas had a mild climate, winter and summer.
  • Your shell has to shed wind, water and snow to maintain a warm and dry climate inside.
  • The climate in the south at this time of the year was probably hot, but surely it couldn't hold a candle to the week she had spent in the desert.
  • They exchanged news and details on the climate differences and finally, when they were talked out, they said their good byes.
  • It is the chief health resort of the state, and its climate is one of the finest in Australia; it has a mean annual temperature of 58.6° F., and the summer heat is never excessive.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"My Passion" Poetry Competition

Well, the poems have been sent in and judged, with the winners announced at the Gawler Poets at the Pub event at the Prince Albert Hotel, Gawler. Two of those receiving a Special Mention were there on the day, to receive their certificates, and to read their poems to those in attendence.

Cheques and certificates for others will be posted out tomorrow. Many thanks to those who entered this annual competition. There will be consideration soon on the possible theme for the next poetry competition, and the entry form and guidelines will be posted to this site later on this year, probably around August.

This is what the Judge had to say about this poetry competition:

Judges Comments

              “My Passion” Poetry competition run by the Adelaide Plains Poets Inc.

General Remarks.

Firstly let me say that I was very honoured to be asked to judge your competition and I undertook the task with a certain amount of apprehension for while I have entered quite a few poetry competitions, I have never judged one before!

That over I'll commence my task. Overall, I was very impressed with the general standard of the entries, especially those of the younger writers which augurs well for the future of poetry writing   in this and the wider community.

I do have some general comments about poetry writing which I hope you won’t mind me passing on as they come from my own experience!

Firstly – try to avoid rhyming, as this can be a trap for the unwary. If you are a very experienced and established writer by all means go for it but its restraints are humungus! It prevents a free flow of emotion and ideas unless in very skilled hands and an inexperienced poet quickly finds that the rhyme dominates their thought processes and feelings which is death to a potential poet, I believe.
Secondly rhyming can turn your poem into something lightweight when you really want a greater impact and at its worst can create what started off as a good idea into doggerel – so all I'm saying is – beware! Poets from all age groups fell into this trap I think and did themselves a disservice in the process.

My next comment is about relevance.  Your competition clearly asks for poems about “My Passion” and a couple of entries made only vague reference (if any ) to this and that didn't help their cause.
Lastly about passion – all poems should have this as part of them, it's what makes them a good poem, I believe and that quality finally is what helped me make my decisions - that and good writing.
What is good writing? That is a subjective view but I think it's writing that makes you think, sit up and feel and it does it by the way words, phrases, lines, imagery are mixed, blended, juxtapositioned and created.

Primary Section.
One poem stood out as winner of this section – 'T – Ball Knight'. Matthew Elkins
The whole poem is a passionate metaphor of knighthood which is sustained throughout the poem by taut line length, economy of words, imagery and internal metaphors and similes. A fantastic piece of writing by a primary school student.
Who would've thought that a passion for T – Ball could produce a literary work of art?

Secondary Section.
This section proved difficult to judge because there were a number of very good entries. Unfortunately some entries disqualified themselves by straying from the topic or not removing typos and spelling errors! Others found the limiting bind of rhyming hampered their efforts. I was finally able to select four poems  deserving of special mention.  They are – 'A Kiss in an Hourglass' Lauren Davidson, I Do NOT Want To Participate' Jemimah Bye, 'My Passion' Meg Eichmann and 'The Whisper of Words' Brynnie Rafe.
They all addressed the topic of Passion in an amazingly diverse way – passion to write, passion for life and ideas, a passion to be true to oneself and romantic, physical passion. They all used imagery,  line length and blank verse poetic structure to great advantage so that the message of their poem is impacted on the reader.

 However there has to be an outright winner for this section and it is, 'A Kiss in an Hourglass' Lauren Davidson.  This poem also carries a metaphor throughout and the writer continues to refer to this imagery throughout what is quite a short poem. This poem intrigues with its deceptive simplicity of structure but depth of sensuality. The poet uses the hourglass image to evoke a sense of time savoured but also lost in an intensity of momentary physical love. I think it is a very mature poem for this age group and the topic is handled sensitively and beautifully. Well done!

Open Section.
I also found this section extremely difficult to whittle down to a short list.  Once again the temptation to rhyme plagued this section too with similar consequences.
However there were a number of excellent entries and I have to make special mention of the following – 'I caught Enthusiasm' Alison Barker, 'Viva Verdi' Shelley Hansen (a rare example of rhyming well handled!), 'all passions spent' Avril Bradley, 'Occasionally' Jan Price, 'Tea Leaves' Darrelle Spenceley, 'My Passion', 'Arrival of the Lost Sketch Book' Anna Jacobson, 'Passionfruit' Bruce Greenhalgh and 'The Quest' (also a well-structured rhyming verse!) Shelley Hansen. Which only goes to show you need to be an experienced poet to rhyme successfully and produce good poetry – it can be done!

 I finally came down to two wonderful but very disparate poems one of which – would you believe rhymes!! They are 'The Quest' Shelley Hansen and 'Arrival of the Lost Sketchbook' Anna Jacobson. I believe they are equal first prize winners in this section.

Firstly 'The Quest'. This poem is very reminiscent of the skill, style and language mastery of the famous English poet Rudyard Kipling. The poet's management of rhyme, metre, metaphor and alliteration creates a propelling rhythm and a passionate philosophical message that races along carrying the reader with it.

 The poem appears deceptively simple in structure but is in fact quite complex. It uses an a,b,c,b rhyming pattern and a terse alternating10 syllable/9 syllable line in each four line stanza in this ten stanza poem. To sustain this throughout the poem while retaining the emotion, narrative and impetus  as well as the reader right in there with you, is a great achievement I think.

''Arrival of the Lost Sketchbook' is quite a different kettle of fish. Where 'The Quest' was fast paced, forthright and propelling this one is the reverse. It is reflective, reminiscent and quiet, yet full of brilliant colour and passionate memory. The poet uses many beautiful descriptive phrases to bring the thoughts of the subject of the poem to life.

The writer portrays in this narrative poem an elderly artist crippled with possibly arthritis who was once a painter of vividly coloured and exhilarating works. She discovers an old sketchbook and her memories of her past skills and achievements come flooding back in the excitement of her long remembered creativity and the rainbow hues she used.


The writer has captured not only the brilliant colours but also the textures and mediums the artist used to work in. The poet give the reader a sustained portrait in which the subject of the poem traces over the pastels and paintings and charcoal drawings captured in the sketchbook  reliving where she was and how she felt at the time she did each piece captured in it. The poem ends as the artist closes the sketchbook, her fingers imbued with the colours she's been tracing. This is a moving poem of talents lost and memories retrieved told in simple but luminous three line stanzas.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Poetry in Pubs?

Have you ever thought about where poetry could happen? Libraries certainly have poetry occurring, in terms of books on shelves, workshops and book signings. Where else could there be poetry happening? Bookshops, certainly you can find poetry happening there too.

Schools have poetry being taught to students, both reading the poems of established poets, and the writing of new poetry by the students. Poetry happens in homes, reading and writing too. Where else could you find poetry happening, do you think?

One place, probably my favourite place where poetry happens, is in pubs! There are poetry readings going on in pubs in Australia and in Ireland, and probably other countries too. I know about the Poetry @ the Pub because I'm involved in a monthly event in one pub, and have been for many years.

The Poets@thePub I know about is the event that happens in the South Australian town of Gawler on the last Sunday of every month except December. The action starts at 2pm and goes on until 4 pm. This event has been going on for almost twenty years. It was started by Martin Johnson, a keen poet who has become an icon in the town of Gawler.

Martin has given poetry back to the people, holding poetry readings in a variety of pubs, forced to move on as pubs changed hands or closed down. The last pub Martin had the poetry readings at was the Prince Albert hotel, on Murray Street. Then Martin felt he'd had enough of the poetry game and wanted to give more back to his music.

Fortunately a committee of dedicated attendees of the Gawler Poets @ the Pub got together and took over from Martin. They did a good job, and the numbers of poets coming to the PA once a month kept up. Two of the committee members have had to move on, but the remaining two are still extremely keen to keen the poetry happening at the PA Hotel.

There is an anthology produced every year, with the best of the poems read from each poet chosen published. This anthology is a fine record of contemporary poetry. The quality varies a little bit perhaps, but the standard is still very good. The annual anthology is a great book to add to anyone's poetry bookcase!

The Gawler Poets@thePub often has a guest poet, where the guest is given fifteen minutes to read their works and talk about their poetry. There have been poets from other countries and from interstate too. It certainly looks like Gawler Poets@thePub will keep on going for many years to come!