Announcing the National Poetry Day Competition 2014 Winners!

SpecFicNZ is thrilled to announce the  winners of the National Poetry Day Competition. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to:

First place: The Sounds of Evolution by Piper Mejia

Second Place: Encore by Tim Jones

Third Place: A Toast to the Kreigles by Deryn Pittar

Thank you also to our wonderful judges, Lee Murray and Elizabeth Heritage, without whom we may not have been able to pick the best. Here is what they have to say about the competition entries:

Thank you to our poets who contributed their work to our poetry competition in honour of National Poetry Day. The judges had a wonderful session reading and discussing your poems, which ranged from a four line ditty to an ambitious thirty line world-building saga in the manner of Lewis Carroll’s The Jaberwocky. Given the speculative theme, poets tended to address ‘big picture’ concepts such as evolution, time and eternity over smaller ‘slice of life’ observations, yet all the entries received were evocative, thought-provoking and a pleasure to read. Of the winning three poems, we loved the simplicity of the onomatopoeic history of the world in The Sounds of Evolution, from its uncertain beginning with an ellipsis, to the ambiguous twist at the end of the poem. A fun read aloud poem, which we have awarded first place. In Encore, our second place winner, the tale of a rock band’s demise, the economy of words, simple verse, and clever interweaving of musical references hooked us in, and we liked way the reader was left with the idea that music transcends the life of the players. The third place winner, A Toast to the Kreigles, impressed us with its speculative content and especially with its wonderful neologisms, which had both of us longing for a swig of galleymop. Thank you to everyone who submitted, and congratulations to our three winners.


The Sounds of Evolution by Piper Mejia



Encore by Tim Jones

Four guys, four shots of whisky.
They like their liquor strong,
the dead.

Twin guitars, bass, drums.
Eight rotting hands
poised above the downbeat.

Hands descend, bones scrape steel.
Scraps of flesh
spatter the moshing crowd.

Voices hoarse, hair wild.
curled round tight-wound strings.

Last song, last solo.
Picks and sticks and fingerbones
clatter to the floor.

Lights up, crowd hushed.
Above a bone-strewn stage,
the final sweet sustain.


A Toast to the Kreigles by Deryn Pittar

Under the kiss of the purple moon
we sip galleymops as the Kreigle herds pass.
Their annual migration from cradle to crest
flows like a wave of flannel and fur,
a fast flowing ribbon of warm breathing flesh
to succour our captors’ desires.

The swallowing sands, a plethora of grains,
call to me with their gravely song.
The morning’s twin suns will welcome the chill
and I, my love, must return to my ship
to seek and conquer the Bastadills.

To crisscross and hunt the barren plains
quartering hills, searching for water,
the lifeblood we need in this place without rain.

Deep in the shards of stalagmite pinnacles
protected by roaring Hessles and Quonts,
their treasure defended with deadly belches
they fight us to shelter their liquid wealth.

The blue planet calls, its cry rips our hearts,
stuck as we are on this murderous outpost.
A remnant of race, our memories fading,
we pine for the past we have lost.

We fight them, they fool us,
we’re cunning, they’re more so.
Intrepid travellers, a brief trip planned here
now we are delicacies, penned in by fear.

The Bastadills farm us, fear us and kill us,
the machines we have saved keep them at bay.
Drink up your galleymop, a toast to the Kreigles,
while they are breeding we live another day.


Once again, thank you all for participating and be on the lookout for future competitions run here at SpecFicNZ.

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