Traditional Publishing

International Poetry Competition

First poetry competition winners

The First International Poetry Competition closed on the 1st October 2002, after a great response! Deliberation over the final line-up of winners was long and hard, but by mid-November the following successful entrants were announced:


Congratulations to Monica Stump of St. Louis, United States, who wins £100 for her poem, " 3'7" ".

"I grew up in Blacksburg, Virginia, in a house on top of a (somewhat dwarfish) Appalachian mountain with my parents and two older brothers. When I was twelve, we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where my parents still live and teach at St. Louis University. My eldest brother, Aaron, recently moved back to St. Louis to teach computer science at Washington University, and my brother, Nathan, lives in New Jersey with his wife and new daughter, Meredith. I am currently a senior at Cornell University, studying Latin and Psychology. I am applying to graduate programs in clinical psychology for next fall and hope to study the integration of Christian faith and clinical practice. Poetry has been a constant companion for me from Virginia to Cornell."

3 ' 7"

  sun   sky   bluebright   light

     FOUNTAIN   flashing

        splashing water


     Washing feet     heat

smoooth   wetlegs bare   water cool   dripping

       Copper  glinting

   r - ea - ch - i - n - g


             slipping --



 Diving dipping flailing flipping



  Wind whipping   sailing skipping --

"Oh you naughtynaughty child!
  What have you done with your new dress?"

    stopping. flopping. sopping.


UK runner-up

Congratulations to A. L. Brooke of Godalming, UK, who wins £25 for writing our best entry from the United Kingdom with her poem, "Mourning".

"A L Brooke is nearer the age of 40 than she would like (from the right side) and has yet to have a career which lasts more than a few years. Unlike the editors and staff of this excellent magazine, she never got to Cambridge - probably a result of her broad Essex accent - and was sent North instead to while away a few years under the shadows of Durham Cathedral. She writes bad poetry and even worse fiction, although the pity factor has enabled some of her scribblings to be found carefully hidden in publications such as "Acumen" and "Envoi". She hopes one day to create a poem more than one page long."


She wakes again to a day
Where the air is spring-drenched with daffodils
And all the earth is rain-softened, flexible.
She envies it while she wonders where winter has gone
And when exactly the dark buds
Will begin to pierce through her white and deadened flesh.

Stretching now, she yawns
And feels her muscles groan,
Mourning the effort of another day, another life
In which nothing real can happen.
Nothing ever does.

So she waits for a moment before opening her eyes
And, in the flicker of time between sleeping and waking,
Strains her senses towards an unfamiliar sound,
Perhaps the sharp surprise of routine confounded.
But there is only silence
And she acknowledges instead
The cool caress of dank air on skin, the loneliness of blood,
Sunlight being hidden.
Although still she wonders

And is therefore almost unprepared
For the room’s stark revelation when her eyelids finally flutter open
And she sees then what she sees always:

A wardrobe filled only with dresses;
A half-empty shelf; a photograph.

US runner-up

Congratulations to Jack Maness of Denver, United States, who wins $35 with his poem "In Bed With My Wife"

"I have been writing all my life, following a playwright mother. Three unpublished novels, hundreds of stories, and thousands of poems fill boxes in my storage area. I am currently working on a book of poems and a book of stories, as well as a Master's of Library and Information Science. I live in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. with my wife Laurie and son Jackson."

In bed with my wife

Shhh, world.
Be quiet.
We are resting.

Did you know that dust lies
beneath beds,
That gravel moves down streets,
That birds chirp?

My cat is anxious now.
My wife's pores are in her face,
and her teeth have width.
When I put my finger along my nose
to the corner of my eye,
I can see through it like a ghost,
Though I know it to be real.

Special commendations

Ten Special Commendations go to the following entrants (in no particular order): Michael Fitzgerald, Australia, for his poem "Smeared"; Anna Heuston, Jersey, for her poem "Conductor"; David Sutherland, United States, for his poem "Lover"; P.J. Bryden, United Kingdom, for the poem "Deep-Fried Head"; Gerald Ryan, United States, for his poem "Blue Maybe"; Dennis D. Nelson, United States, for his poem "My Absent Wife's Cat"; Leeanne Langsford, United Kingdom, for her poem "Family Tree"; Alastair Anthony Ives, United States, for his poem "Pacific Coast Highway"; Anna Hutchinson, United Kingdom, for her poem "Kitchen Sinks"; and Joy Males, United Kingdom, for her poem "Volunteer Sacrifices".