Poetry Contest Winners
Our 2017 poetry contest was judged by Jónína Kirton. Here’s how she describes the winning works:
I chose “Defining: Clean, Fly, and Plum” as a three-way tie as I simply could not select one as “the winner.” As I entered each piece, I experienced an upending of the expectation of safe interactions between these innocuous words, the child, and their grandfather. A tightening took place in my body as I experienced the loss of innocence as if it was my own. Each piece “a fishhook” in which a grandfather’s lips feel like “a dozen tiny flies biting the top of the girl’s bottom.” I was tempted to turn away yet found myself returning again and again to these pieces. They are a road map pointing us toward all that was taken and can never be returned.
“Hippocrene” is filled with movement and the kind of wild femininity the world is in need of. It opens us wide like “elevator doors.” The “she” could be us. In fact, I wanted her to be me. I felt her stride in my legs. I felt myself become “the wheel of a wagon rolling loose” and “a sashaying allegory.” I became ravenous for the rhythms offered by the “DJ in a farmyard nightclub . . .” I had no idea I was so hungry.
Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered. Read “Defining: Clean, Fly, and Plum” and “Hippocrene” next, and read the honourable mention “mother’s tongue” by Kiran Dhaliwal at roommagazine.com.