Tag Archives: Magpie Award

Poetic Inspiration

The deadline for Magpie Poetry Award entries is this coming Sunday, June 15th.  With the pressure now on, we’d like to offer you this poetic gift from contest judge George McWhirter:

On the Globe Maple

Our globe put on such a leaf-dress, such puffy pantaloons,
only for those clothes to fall, get gathered up and put away
by us autumn widows and widowers, no longer allowed
to burn organic garments,
and with no compost room left to let them rot.

Easier to give them away to the city
in a bin — glad to do so, despite that blinding blur
the globe wore with its full jewelry of September sunlight
(no summer modesty of limbs, clothed in green anonymity, then —
or the tight taciturnity of young spring bud). Patiently
we packed away those arboreal duds, waiting for the next discards
on our boulevard – espoused
as we were to a globe maple the city shot-gunned
us into accepting and slowly, reluctantly loving
to live in its shade and shelter, held up politely
like an umbrella whenever we got in or out of the car.

But I’m not sure we ever looked forward to its coming out,
the Persephone performance, each year, after the spell
of its sap’s cessation in hell. Especially after its lopsided
growth, too oblong for its roots and hefty trousseaux of snow,
piled on (to have us recant our wanting a cherry tree instead),
which broke it down to a crescent, an icing-coated croissant,
a third of its former self. The rest lay, distressing us in the gutter,
a gowling globe till the city came and chain-sawed
a final separation for us, leaving the bulk of the wood.

We will bask soon in that settlement, by the fire,
after giving ourselves a little space — on the boulevard.

George McWhirter

George McWhirter to judge the Magpie Poetry Award

George McWhirterWho better to judge our inaugural Magpie Award for Poetry, than Vancouver’s inaugural Poet Laureate, George McWhirter?

The much-lauded poet, novelist, translator and editor has been instrumental in the development of BC’s literary scene, both as a long-time editor and advisor at PRISM international, and as a well-loved professor and Head of the Creative Writing department at UBC.  He has been awarded too many prizes for writing and teaching to list here, and we are thrilled and honoured that he has agreed to judge our first ever contest.

For a small sample of his vast body of work see this poem on the blog of Alex-Waterhouse Hayward (whom we have to thank for putting us in touch).

The closing date for entries for the Magpie Award for Poetry is 15 June 2014.  Contest guidelines are here.