Magpie Award final judge Diane Tucker has revealed the three gems which will have everyone standing in line to purchase their Issue 12 copy of Pulp Literature (so order it now)! Our winners spanned the continent, from Newfoundland to California, yet we are secretly pleased that this contest (judged blind) was won by a local Vancouver poet. And mainly we’re glad because we’ll get to raise a toast to her in person at the book launch! Without further ado, Diane’s comments:
All the shortlisted poems contain clever and even beautiful imagery, emotion precisely and originally expressed, and an extraordinary amount of chutzpah. There isn’t a timid piece in the bunch. But these three, in my opinion, do the work best.
Magpie Award ($500) to Nicola Aime for “Dumb Love”
Judged by the contest’s own standard – “a fusion of musicality, imagery, feeling, and thought” – “Dumb Love” is the winner in this group of poems. Every syllable in it serves the music and the rhythm and the story. The poem’s sustained metaphor, or family of metaphors, is never cheesily over-used or descends into mere punning. The poem’s perfect juggle of swooning passion and subtle and sardonic humour makes it a love poem truer than most to actual human love. I feel it wants to be recited with a resigned smile. And through all of this it sustains its music. It is the most seamless of the entries, the most polished and fully-realized piece of work.
First Runner-Up: ($50) Katie Vautour for “Military Survival Training”
This is a dense, stony, jagged poem, longish but laser-focused, patient and cold and terrifying. It’s a controlled, drawn-out pain, like a night of sleep spent clenching one’s jaw. Waking doesn’t make it better… It’s going to stay lodged in my head and make me think twice before I eat rabbit again.
Second Runner-Up: ($50) Marnie Eldridge for “Man.hunt”
Almost a complete contrast to “Military Survival Training”, “Man.hunt” is a hugely loose, flailing, overflowing tsunami of a poem. It works as well as it does because its seemingly rambling passages have a fine strong thread running through them… Its chaotic music and gorgeous, determined fierceness sustain the patient reader.
Congratulations again to all our fine poets, and especially to Nicola!