Tag Archives: Magpie Award

Magpie Award Winners

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:magpiesmaller

  • ‘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:

Honourable Mention

‘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.”

Second Runner-up

‘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.”

First Runner-up

‘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!

 

 

 

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.