iYeats Poetry 2019 Winners
The winners of this year’s iYeats Poetry Competition have been announced. Launched a decade ago, the internationally-recognised poetry competition was initiated by the Hawk's Well Theatre to mark the 50th Yeats International Summer School, and the 70th anniversary of the death of W. B Yeats, and has been an annual event ever since.
With the number of entries for the 2019 event exceeding 2018’s sizable competition, picking the winners was a difficult task for the judges; highly respected Irish poet John F. Deane, and Palestinian-Canadian spoken word artist Rafeef Ziadah.
With entries coming from across the globe competing in two categories; ‘General’, and ‘Emerging’ for poets aged 16 - 25, the judges chose Angela T Carr’s ‘Child’ as their overall winner, with John Tinneny’s ‘Animals’ coming out on top in the ‘Emerging’ category.
Singling out ‘Child’ for the top spot, judge John F. Deane called the piece; “a truly moving poem, beautifully structured and followed through”.
Carr’s work may have been victorious, but the judges singled out ‘The Albatross at Langdon School’ by Paul Nash as highly commendable, commenting that the poem was; “a really well written sonnet, imaginatively thought out and developed.”
Four poems in all in the general category also came in for commendation; Siobhan Flynn’s ‘The Colour of Words’, Lina Al Sharif’s ’Ghazal: Kitchen’, Nidhi Zakaria Eipe’s ’Berlin / First Love’ and ‘Nine Months’ by Margot Harrison.
The 2019 winner Angela T Carr is a poet, editor and creative writing facilitator. She was also winner of The Poetry Business 2018 Laureate's Prize, chosen by Carol Ann Duffy, and her work has been placed or shortlisted in over 40 national and international literary competitions. Her poetry is published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK and US, including The North, The Lonely Crowd, The London Magazine, Prelude, Mslexia and Banshee. In 2017, she was chosen for the inaugural Words Ireland National Mentoring Programme and is currently working on her second collection, 'The Auguries'. Originally from Glasgow, she lives in Dublin. You can learn more about Angela by visiting her website www.adreamingskin.com.
The winner of the emerging category for young poets under 25 year old is John Tinneny from Belfast. John is currently studying for a degree in English Literature and French in Glasgow.
The Hawk’s Well Theatre would like to take this opportunity to thank their judges and all the poets who entered the competition in this it’s 10th Anniversary year.
Winner - General CategoryAngela T Carr "Child"
Winner - Emerging CategoryJohn Tinneny "Animals"
Highly CommendedPaul Nash "The Albatross at Langdon School"
CommendedSiobhan Flynn "The Colour of Words"
CommendedLina Al Sharif "Ghazal: Kitchen"
CommendedNidhi Zakaria Eipe "’Berlin / First Love"
CommendedMargot Harrison "Nine Months"
Winner - General Category
Child, by Angela T Carr
I pluck a copper hair from my head
and, as you sleep, half-hitch it to your toe
unfurl and loop its length about the spindles
of your cradle, round the doorknob,
through the keyhole and along the flagstone
passage you will one day flit down,
take the arm of the soft chair by the kitchen hearth,
lace the handles of black-bottomed pots
that hang there, the lid of a stoneware jar
from which your sticky fingers will steal
sweet morsels, then through the window and, on the lane,
wrap it twice around the old sally tree.
I’ll wade the grasses in the long field, weaving in stalks
of samphire, plantain, dock and sow-thistle –
the wanderers – buddleia and ragged robin,
for wings, and tie off its thread, on the gatepost
by the coast road where, one day, too soon,
I will wave you off into the world.
My hair will silver, shine out in dark places,
as the birch at dusk draws the last light into itself,
a rod of brightness against the encroaching night.
And, though you leave dancing down that road,
and others wind their coloured coils about you,
always, at your feet, the tug of home.
© Angela T Carr
Winner - Emerging Category
Animals, by John Tinneny
We are like animals
because we live in a kingdom.
We are like ostriches
because our heads are in the sand.
We are like peacocks
because we are proud.
We are like snails
because we move at their pace.
We are like mules
because we are stubborn.
We are like invertebrates
because we are spineless.
We are like rabbits
because we breed like them.
We are like flies
because we drop like them.
We are like elephants
because we never forget.
And we are like goldfish
because we do.
© John Tinneny
The Albatross at Langdon School, by Paul Nash
In the referral classroom, nowhere bound,
You make a fit mascot for this company
Of fleet sprites turned to snails who can’t fly free,
Your eyes fixed blindly on the bright playground.
How long since they were real, and you could see
Silver shoals flashing through tourmaline canyons,
Glide homeward to your seldom-seen companion’s
Greeting, or spot your human enemy?
Above the ocean’s rage, St Elmo’s fire
Streaming aloft from yardarm and masthead,
You, angel of the wind, would rest a spell
As the crew toiled, dwarfed by the looming swell,
Then return to the turbulent empire
You ruled once, when those tireless wings could spread.
© Paul Nash
The Colour of Words, by Siobhan Flynn
There was no word because there was no thing.
Tamil nāram, Persian nārang, traveled the Silk Road,
Arabic nāranj changing to naranja
as the Moors transformed the dry plains of Spain
into cultivated gardens with groves of oranges.
The new, exotic fruit was named.
The word became a colour, pigments were invented;
realgar and orpiment, made from arsenic,
essential for the brilliance of the Renaissance,
sold by Venetian vendecolori
to enrich the painted robes of aristocrats
and glint the hair of goddesses.
Into this glory another word was born;
the Jews of Venice contained in a small area
known as the New Foundry, in Venetian ghetto novo.
The ghetto was closed from six in the evening
until noon the next day, the surrounding canals
patrolled by boats of Christian guards.
Words are accepted, colours become ordinary;
oranges in the supermarket, Halloween plastic.
Words are twisted and sharpened on friction;
ships ‘safeguard our seas’ from ‘illegal immigrants’.
And I want to know if colour is the difference
between an expat, a migrant and a refugee.
© Siobhan Flynn
Ghazal: Kitchen, by Lina Al Sharif
Heaps of rice preside over muttons scooped in hands
we arabs our eyes are bigger than our kitchens
this spine is splitting in two, these knees caps are melting like wax
but my young mouths are making their best memories in my kitchen
you may learn the science of baby making in class
but you will learn much more if you listen to women whispering in kitchens
I hate cooking, I hate cooking, I hate cooking
what I mean to say is that I don’t belong in the kitchen
sure we can keep politics out of food,
but first stop saying hummus was created in an Israeli kitchen
I dice onions, knead dough, my eye lashes fall
oh, how no one sees how many tears were shed in this kitchen
the war started and ended now our house is a hollow skull
but where I saw them last was our kitchen.
© Lina Al Sharif
’Berlin / First Love, by Nidhi Zakaria Eipe
At the party, I lean my back to the wall
with my flute of Moët, listening.
Bowie performing his heroics in Berlin,
Germans pressed against the other side
before me, a couple is kissing,
sway up the rachis of my spine,
how a single song will take you back
to a time when people remembered
what a wall was for, what it did,
how much it would take
to tear it down: men, always,
sledgehammers axe-hacking stone-faced
concrete set-sealed like a hard-shut mouth;
somebody pops a cork,
champagne sprays like water jets that day
in November: I think of the boy
with the umbrella and the man
in the army
green jacket being hauled up,
of how you wore an identical jacket
the first time we kissed, our backs to the wall,
how I knew even then
what we were
how impossible it was
that everything that stands between us
should not bring us to our knees –
something so enormous was not destined
© Nidhi Zakaria Eipe
Nine Months, by Margot Harrison
she flops from me
slithers like a wild thing
screams as if she knows
only the moment of her making
that ties me to this runt
I want to re-absorb her
cell by cell
instead her birth is like a blade
my breasts ache but I bind them
as the milk inside me curdles
and I take her to the forest to the place I was taken
where you made me look in your eyes
as you whispered
that I was marked for death
© Margot Harrison