Friday 25 August 2017

Contestants were required to choose a piece of spam, junk mail or advertising and to write a poem using only the vocabulary of their chosen junk. We were overwhelmed with the number of entries - many thanks to everyone. 

Winner: Janine Martig 

I + Work = Audrey

Flawless Audrey

I can be you
As perfect as you
I correct my errors
to be as flawless as you

I can be you
I + work = you
It's the way

All that work
to be you

All that work to be
To be Audrey

Can I be as confident 
as you?


Can I?


All that work...

Judges' comment: This poem uses the limited vocabulary of the advertisement to wring a huge amount of pathos out of the fact that grammatical insecurity is merely a manifestation of personal insecurity.

Commended: Joe Papps


An unsolicited open-access map,
the map with no connections between national places,
separate locations,
there is no limit.

A sheet, a copy,
originating from various wandering locations,
mobile encounters,
there is no limit.

Following the day,
you associate streets with volumes of phantom space,
virtual tours,
there is no limit.

Contribute to this new piece,
ensure your billstickers amount to your name,
send or deliver,
there is no limit.

A junk arrangement,
you will no doubt amount to the spam you receive,
estimate twenty years,
there is no limit. 

Judges' comment: This poem cleverly appropriates the vocabulary of the competition instructions to explore the existential threats and opportunities of the concept of the limit (or the constraints of its absence). 'Phantom space' is a concept that deserves a whole book.

Commended: Jeannette Cook

Free Range

Black chook
you are luscious,
velvet smooth, sumptuous, silky,
elegant as you run by the river
below our cellar door.

We are impressed by the red-gold
of your powerful head,
your beautifully structured form
as you scoop ripe fruit
onto your palate.

Big, weighty, generous,
a champion layer delivered to us laden.
Today we collected two -
smooth in the hand they lay
like white stars.

We lovers from across the world

built on this estate below the range
to share our passion
for simple things. Your delicious offer
has made us rich. 

Judges' comment: This poems nicely turns the adjective-laden vocabulary of advertising inwards to construct a carefully patterned and very personal poem.

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