Traditional Publishing

International Poetry Competition

Third poetry competition winners

The Third International Poetry Competition closed on November 1, 2004. Deliberation over the final line-up of winners was long and hard, but by February 2005 the following successful entrants were announced:


Congratulations to Maria Grech Ganado of Madliena, Malta, who wins £300 for her poem, "Arena".


You won’t remember me. I used to be
someone who made a lot of noise, hoping
to hide the jangle in her head. Like soccer
it was – the running up, down, sideways
after a ball which at the time was bigger
than the earth, though like the earth it was
kicked round to allies, wrested from foes.

Actually, perhaps it was my eyes which were
the balls – I couldn’t see with all that roaring
going on. The lions seemed accustomed
to the crowds, on home-ground – but up close
I could have sworn, that there were arms behind
the nets, not always waving. Perhaps the jangle
was for thumbs, or toes…

Then there were those who went on about God
and hollow spaces – transforming roaring into
singing, because His Love is sweet, even when
your team has lost and you’ve gone home alone
to wash your feet.
No, I can’t see how you could
remember. I don’t mix much. At most all you’d
recall was someone merely human laughing
idiotically, cowering in her arena, afraid
how it might show she was of the same breed.

US runner-up


Congratulations to Suzann Kole, of Maine, who wins $75 for submitting the best entry from the United States with her poem, "Heartless Waking".

Heartless Waking

A spittle of low tide
sticks rough to a beard of rock –
my body wrapped around
the new cold of morning
pulls in breath
of resignation
as crows blacken
the yellow air and shoulders
of turf pulse hard
bargains through a stiffened,
sombre wind. These days,
terraced like fins,
form a fragile shielding –
transparent around
our lithe, aqueous bodies
now occluded within
the geometric hours... when
just last night, moon
flattened its cheek
against the lawn
in a bleach of muslin –
iridescent with dew;
while trees dissolved, then
withdrew into thirsting
dark, before dawn’s
heartless waking.

UK runner-up

Congratulations to Kate Potter of London, who wins £50 for entering the best runner-up poem from the United Kingdom, "Sundays".


This day shreds the weather to fragments of rain
that splinter the window. I trace my finger down
the watery tracts along the glass.
I can hear sighs heaving like hills
and the sounds of the father dozing,
screening out the distant rumble of his family breaking
and the mother plastering over the cracks that silence leaves behind.
The sleuth of an early night licks the secrets
you hide under your pillow, dragging them out
to where you see them with your third eye,
pinning a cavern of unspoken words to your breast.
As you sleep to the stability of Monday,
you grasp the sanctity of sheets around you
like a winter landscape to hide beneath.

Special commendations

Ten special commendations go out to the following entrants (in alphabetical order):