The winners of the Inaugural Magpie Award for Poetry were announced last night at our Issue 3 Launch.
The shortlist, compiled by our poetry editor Daniel Cowper was, in alphabetical order by title:
- ‘Autumnal Equinox’, by Michael Patrick Eltritch
- ‘Bear Medicine’, by Ryan Tilley
- ‘Big Red Schoolhouse’, by Ace Baker
- ‘Cocktail Noir: The Liquid City’, by Glenn Pape
- ‘Grateful’, by Liya Khan
- ‘Ice Fisher’, by Judith Neale
- ‘intimacy requires more’, by Daniela Elza
- ‘Riverbank’, by Ada Maria Soto
- ‘The Arrangement’, by Judith Neale
- ‘Wax-winged Icarus’, by Kate Austin
Contest judge George McWhirter was impressed with the overall quality of the entries, and from the shortlist selected the following poems, with this to say:
‘Riverbank’ by Ada Maria Soto, and ‘Cocktail Noir: The Liquid City’ by Glenn Pape.
The latter was “[A sparking piece that] … just couldn’t quit, like the persona, and if it had stopped after the first section, it would have been a contender for its seriously humorous subject and treatment of it.”
‘Autumnal Equinox’ by Michael Patrick Eltrich.
“… it is spare and unsparing, economical with its words and sad wisdom. The resonances in big words like ‘the end’ are orchestrated through the subject’s, the retired architect’s mind into an almost too-sharp perspective by the poet interpreting his position in time and his position on time. Very close to home for someone like me, in his seventies.”
‘intimacy requires more’ by Daniela Elza
“[This poem] could have got tangled in the length of the analysis of this very delicate, but demanding subject, which itself is made up of demands.. It could have become too abstract, but then as its lines go, intimacy is more than being “shoved against the wall/ opened like a cupboard/ scribbled on a scroll…” It’s hard to renew interest in things that rotate and reform, but they come back surprisingly in altered perspective with surprising phrasing. This is the kind of poem I would not normally keep reading, but I did with this one.”
Magpie Award Winner
‘Big Red Schoolhouse’ by Ace Baker
“The poem in 1st place, ‘Big Red Schoolhouse, keeps us up to our elbows in the muck of the moment and the situation with the calving. I felt I was physically at the other end of the rope in my new jeans, and my uncle was a world away from where I was at and right beside me at the same time, handing me that rope to tie around the calf’s hocks to haul it out. The poem is dynamic and dramatic in its details, as elegiac as it is realistic and beautifully sequenced through stanza and line. I might even say choreographed, a choreographed chaos of feelings and action, dominated by a double dimension of obligation to the birthing and to the uncle. Wonderful poem.”
We couldn’t agree more. We were fortunate Ace was at the launch last night to receive his cheque for $500 and read his poem out loud. We’re looking forward to publishing it and the runners-up, who will each receive a cheque for $50, in the Autumn issue of Pulp Literature. The contest was judged blind, so the judges had no idea when they selected Ace’s poem that it would end up published alongside his short story ‘Victory Girl’ in Issue 4.
Congratulations to all!