The results are in, and here is the report from the final judge, George McWhirter!
The finalists for 2015 were all masterfully precise and evocative at the same time, making a choice of top three not so easy. Finally, I opted for the following:
- ‘Caffe Pettirosso’ by Diane Tucker
I think the poem and poet speak for generations of café and restaurant goers whose main item on the menu is their sitting down to appear cool in a cool place, only to have, as on this visit, the afternoon light, the city’s flora and fauna outshine any of the bright lights and personae in the eating and drinking place. This other side of being part of the scene has just been waiting for this poem to happen—with its afternoon scenario, brilliant put-down and simultaneous illumination.
- ‘Water in the Way’ by Ace Baker
The drama in the poem of a trip (literal and metaphorical) into death and the consecration of the beloved dead-one’s remains, with the fish-shaped skull, to the deeps of mystery and the waters is spectacular. The moment of that fish arising out of those waters into indelible memory for the granddaughter and the poet solders emblem and epiphany to mine and makes a perfect consummation for the poem.
- ‘Wild Berry Suite’ by Jude Neale
This is an elegant and heartfelt elegy with resonant recollections and touching details, very human, very ordinary, but of that small order of the magically ordinary like the berries in the poem that once picked and basketed can be relished over and over with the wild bitter sweet mix of sadness and joy. The poem also mulls the rural and urban into a very special liquidity, the City of Vancouver and the countryside with the fluidity of the river that runs through both and which becomes the sound of Mary Greener Thompson to whose memory the poem is dedicated and that very easy to hear and listen to voice of the poet.
Congratulations to our three finalists, as well as to the rest of the entrants who gave them a hard run for their money. Our first-place winner will receive $500 and the runners up each receive $50. The three winning poems will be published in the Autumn 2015 issue of Pulp Literature.
We are thrilled to let you know that all three finalists are local and will be able to attend our awards presentation and reading on Monday May 25th, along with some of the other short-listed poets and both of our judges, Daniel Cowper and George McWhirter.
Please join us as we congratulate the winners with an evening of poetry and celebration!