Traditional Publishing

International Poetry Competition

Seventh poetry competition winners

The Seventh International Poetry Competition closed on November 1, 2008. Deliberation over the final line-up of winners was long and hard, but by January 2009 the following successful entrants were announced:


Congratulations to Anne-Simone Hutton of Najac, France, who wins £500 for her poem "Edge".

Anne-Simone Hutton is German, but has spent most of her life in English-speaking countries. She is a professional painter who also writes poetry, and finds that she has a common creative approach to both activities. She has had several poems published in anthologies. She has lived in England, Zimbabwe and New Zealand (where she wrote "Edge"), and is now living in France.


The sea, in a lavish mood,
(those rich kitsch oils),
Toe-teasing, tongueing pebbles.
What’s folding it
And folding under?

I lie, ears in spasms,
Eyes big as the sky,
On this world trampoline
With distances.

An origami ship
Sails the time away,
Feeds one performance
Across the horizon’s
Utter vacancy,

Then erases it
And leaves its spook.
I transmute
Into the geometry
Of an albatross.

UK runner-up

Congratulations to Mark Ellis, of London, who wins £100 for submitting the best entry from the United Kingdom with the poem "Another Mother".

Crishanti Jayawardene is a restless freelance writer of Sri Lankan heritage, born and raised in Italy. She graduated from Edinburgh University. She is currently living in London and is dreaming of deserts.

Another Mother

No more ice cream at Paul's just now, they said,
but something gave them away.

Their shrink-wrap phrases
fitted too tightly,
and the bony truth jutted out.

It drew me close,
and I reached out to feel
the softly broken ridges of something I sensed I knew.

With a child's fumbling guile
I picked and poked holes, and gasped
as the air rushed away from his mother's dead face.

When the cold stone walls echoed their pretty singing voices
all of their belief must have been absorbed
and I knew that she was gone.

I chewed the sodden edge of my blanket
and gripped it tightly when I closed my eyes
so that I felt something, when I floated,

until I dissolved amongst the stars.
Faint pin-pricks of light by which to see
that there was nothing in between.

US runner-up

Congratulations to Michael Pollick of Decatur, Alabama, who wins $150 for entering the best runner-up poem from the United States, "Oven".


I see in her mottled skin
such visions
of dishwater pain,
The desperately overturned
second-hand furniture,
stripped bare of our lunch money.

Here in the crispest of mornings
lies purpose- in oatmeal, in Praise the Lord,
in sitting still while the tea boils;
Here in the emptiness of my third grade,
she is free to be trapped in polyester,
free to consider all the worlds
her hands have had to make from scratch.

(He is a forgetful bastard this morning,
all caught up in his steering gears
without a drop of change.)

So this is what warmth can be,
as we huddle by the gas oven for heat,
and stare holes through the blue flames.

She is not my mother this morning-
She is a scalloped-skinned mutt,
carefully trampling down the circles
where she may find tea-stained redemption.

I would tell you more,
but sometimes yellow
trucks stop by,
to rescue small children
from all matters human.

Special commendations

Ten special commendations go out to the following entrants (in no particular order):