Judges' Report on the 2010 Winners
5-7 Years – Judge: Ann Christopherson
1st Place: I Hear Music….All Year ‘Round by Aleisha Elliott
This playful text helps the reader feel lighter than air. The rhythmic quality and choice of language are fresh and imaginative. The use of the poetic devices, alliteration and simile, is effective and adds to the overall joy found in the piece.
2nd Place: Journey to Space by Beatriz Herrera
This cosmic trip into the imagination expressed through a rhyming adventure poem will escort the reader happily along as it courses through the galaxy. The well chosen vocabulary is spirited and will assist the reader to “savour the dreams”.
3rd Place: Spring by Harper Barton
The economy of words used to express so perfectly the observations of Spring is impressive in this text. Metaphor is used well to create vivid imagery.
Highly Commended: Fairybread by Rachel Ross
This rollicking, imaginative piece perfectly describes eating its namesake. The rhythmic quality is fresh and fun.
Highly Commended: Game Over by Justen Webster
Well chosen action verbs drive this text with the power necessary to bring the reader into the mayhem of the game. The story like structure suits the message.
Highly Commended: Galah by Lara Murray
Vivid descriptors paint a clear image in the mind of the reader. The action verbs work well.
Highly Commended: Families by Jillian McFarlane
The positive impact of this heartfelt piece is found in the words chosen to describe the title. Very personal, very tender.
Highly Commended: Ladybird by Georgie Brown
This captivating, word perfect, lyrical description is a delight to the reader.
8-10 Years – Judge: Ann Christopherson
1st Place: Two Sticks and a Stretched Cowhide by Jonah Myers
The series of events described in this imaginative piece captivate the reader by not only the unique structure of the poem but also the precise and perfectly chosen words. The crescendo builds as trial and error leads the drummer to discover a special “magic” with each little success. This text creates sensory imagery in the mind of the reader.
2nd Place: Musical Journey by Perrin Tarlinton
Vivid and appropriate descriptors drive this figurative text of a journey which takes one from the chaos to the calm. The poetic tool of metaphor is used very well to paint pictures in the mind of the reader. The logical structure as the verses unfold compliment the overall effectiveness of the piece.
3rd Place: The Rainstorm by Katie Cunningham
Through the use of metaphor and creative adjectives drama builds as the text progresses from the first signs of foul weather to the ebbing of the storm. The structure of the poem seems to support faster reading as the pelting rains and “ferocious winds” hammer the earth. The finish is simple, clean and affective.
Highly Commended: A Missing Piece by Lauren Humphreys
The power of well chosen metaphor evokes an emotional response in the reader. The imagery is thought provoking and soulful.
Highly Commended: Railway Man by Georgina Rudken
The rhythmic quality of this warm poem makes for a delightful reading. The message for valuing history and family is powerful, delivered through carefully structured verses.
Highly Commended: The Triathlon by Parker Cunningham
This well structured poem allows the reader insight into the tri-athlete’s world through the use of sensory images. The last 2 lines may be redundant.
Highly Commended: Soccer by William Kitching
The rhythmic structure of this poem flows as the action on field is recounted through the words of a very passionate player. The vocabulary is well chosen.
Highly Commended: Living in Two Worlds by Sam Cujes
Vivid vocabulary supports the imaginative concept of this poem. The use of repetition is useful and deliberate. It is fresh and distinctive.
Highly Commended: Dove Freedomby Miranda Kidd
The strength of the human spirit is celebrated in this piece. Evocative language is called upon to communicate clear intent. Punctuation may need attention to get the full impact of the words.
Highly Commended: Alone by Holly Brown
The impact of this emotional plea is thought provoking and heart breaking. The message is powerful and the structure flows. Repetition is used well.
Highly Commended: Believe by Taine Baldwin Core
This solemn and gentle observation of deep felt belief is carried successfully by perfectly chosen words and phrasing.
Highly Commended: Butterfly by Shanara Collingwood
This gentle verse, with well chosen and placed verbs paints a very clear image in the mind of the reader. Using first person is creative.
Highly Commended: Brothers by Shelby McQuilty
The clever comic impact of this piece due to well chosen vocabulary and sentence structure is a delight. Laughter with warmth.
11-13 Years – Judges: Ann Christopherson & Charles Costello
1st Place: Bridezilla by Elizabeth Waldron
Sparkling characterization drives this witty, sophisticated text. A mature command of sentence structure and use of vivid language positions the reader while building tension which concludes with an appropriate moral or message. The contemporary take on this subject matter will be found relevant and appreciated by today’s readers.
2nd Place: Grandfather Tree by Tessa Liddell
The imagery created by a careful choice of vocabulary and structure in this text is most appropriate for sentiments associated with our 150 year celebration of Ipswich. Historic references to people, events and locations add to the authenticity of the text. Alliteration and the careful characterization of the tree add to the impact of this text which develops well to a powerful climax. Perhaps more attention to punctuation may help.
3rd Place: My Poetry Needs to be Done Soon by Elizabeth Waldron
The rhythmic quality and delightful language use in this humorous piece is effective and evokes laughter and understanding as the reader recognises a familiar theme. It has a fresh, crisp feeling that captivates the reader. The text is well structured although the rhyming scheme is discarded in the final verse.
Highly Commended: Sinsong by Beth Hoppe
The allegorical nature of this powerful text impacts the reader’s emotions as the verses unfold. Good use of language. Some images could be more defined. Interesting rhyme pattern.
Highly Commended: The iPhone by Kristin Gray
This clever, contemporary piece has a rhyming structure appropriate for verse speaking. The original, dramatic structure and use of repetition are well used. A few forced rhymes.
Highly Commended: The Ballerina’s Wish by Jamie-Lee Egberts
This powerful portrayal of a dancer’s work gives vivid insight to the reader through the use of a well chosen, emotionally-packed vocabulary. Occasional structural difficulties. There seems to be a nice connection to the Ipswich Eisteddfod tradition.
Highly Commended: Music For the Soul by Giselle Pickering
Appropriate vocabulary and effective development of the mature subject matter is used to convey this generally thought provoking theme. The poetic voice was occasionally lost but the attempt is worth pursuing.
Highly Commended: Time Square by Jessica Riga
Metaphor is used effectively to describe external scenes which mirror internal emotions found within this mature piece. Some confusion with the time sequence and the title- Time Square/ Times Square?
Highly Commended: Busy, Busy City by Chloe Patch
Repetition and onomatopoeia are used effectively in this descriptive poem. Vivid images are created through well chosen language. Some minor spelling and verb tense problems.
Highly Commended: The Screaming Land by Katelyn Givney
Effective use of simile and rhetorical questioning are found in this mature text. Sharp images are developed through the use of vivid and appropriate language.
Highly Commended: My Park by Melanie Wild
Well chosen verbs and vivid descriptions are the hallmark of this piece. Perhaps it’s a little too prose like at the start and the punctuation needs attention but the overall sensory imagery impacts beautifully on the reader.
Highly Commended: Poop Patrol by Megan Hogan
This whimsical, well structured poem evokes a smile. The catchy title will captivate certain readers. Some punctuation problems.
Highly Commended: I See a Musician by Elizabeth Waldron
This worthwhile attempt at a sustained characterization uses repetition and emotion to impact the reader. Choice of language is commendable.
14-15 Years – Judges: Graham Nunn & Charles Costello
1st Place: Around the World in 80 Seconds by Sarah Webster
This poem slaps the senses with a vibrant mix of colour, 'chestnut and burnt sienna', scent, 'tumeric and cumin' and taste, 'chunks of tangerine pulp'. A sparkling marriage of Jules Verne and Richard Branson with a range of extremely appropriate images and a rich vocabulary.
2nd Place: Walks with Aunt Eileen by Sarah Webster
A nice allegory of aging, loss and companionship with some lovely imagery and use of vocabuary - great adjectives including "lanquid", "sallow", "dour" and verbs such as "clasps" and "pondering". The repetition of 'We Walk' ticks like a clock throughout, building the tension to what is a dramatic conclusion.
3rd Place: Our Home, Australia by Sarah Webster
A powerful re-working of some familiar Australian themes such as 'sheep, bronzed with a dusty fleece' and 'molten emerald crocs'. A nicely structured poem with a generally consistent rhythm.
Highly Commended: Sundried by Sarah Webster
A dramatic portrayal of uncompromising Australian natural phemomena with some nice images eg. 'storm of amber and auburn'.
Highly Commended: Kindred Spirit by Sara Stanley
Thoughtful and quite effective presentation of the bond between horse and rider.
Highly Commended: untitled by Taylar Holmes
A vivid 'car crash' poem with one very special line: "Bomb-proofed by adrenalin" Needs title.
Highly Commended: Silence by Cruise Lucas
Very mature topic and well handled. Great line in the final stanza: "That moment in the air where nothing matters"
Highly Commended: The Darkness by Brandon Morgan
A powerful portrayal of an existential crisis.
16-17 Years – Judges: Graham Nunn & Charles Costello
1st Place: Elegy by Jacqueline Krynda
A powerful hymn brimming with the fine detail of memory. The stories shared between poet and godfather, 'sealed in an envelope of knowledge'. There is a mature use of vocabulary and imagery throughout eg."pale daisies freckle" and a sophisticated structure with the first and fourth stanzas serving as contrast, 'My godfather lived...' 'My godfather lies...'
2nd Place: Australia (with apologies to Allen Ginsberg) by Jacqueline Krynda
Very effective piece of dramatic monologue with a very clear and appropriate characterisation of both the speaker and the subject. A whimsical look at an alternative 'National Anthem' created with the use of some inventive vocabulary. Mature images - "that the old PM could speak a fruit".
3rd Place: Poland, 1942 by Jacqueline Krynda
The opening line 'severs the air', bringing the reader in immediately. This is a mature historical reflection, with a number of memorable images. The last lines 'flat smiles/ and eyes that howl' will stay with me for some time.
Highly Commended: The Sailing Club by Jacqueline Krynda
A poem that uses personification effectively to bring the old Sailing Club to life for the reader, 'The old clubhouse/ sits at the end of the lake/ elbows on its knees'. The poem presents itself as a lovely analogy for aging and change.
Highly Commended: Candle Girl by Chelsea Miller
An effective little analogy for an emotional breakdown. The imagery is consistent throughout and the line '... sanity slips down/ her ashen face' provides a stunning opening.
Highly Commended: The Arcane Mind by Tarlee Coomb
A nice little journey of the mind with powerful imagery. Lovely line: "Hang like a marionette".
Highly Commended: Knot Tying by Verona Niebling
A poem with ephemeral beauty. The heart laid out in a box at the mercy of butterflies and a magician... sublime.
Highly Commended: The Wonderful City of Ipswich by Marnie Mitchell
A poem that encourages the reader to look below the surface and experience the history, achievements and successes of The Wonderful City of Ipswich.
Open Age - Bush Poetry – Judges: Noel Stallard and Trevor Johnson
1st Place: Flight of the Magpie Geese by Catherine Clarke
This writer demonstrates excellent control of metre and rhyme which allow the innovative imagery and relevant emotions to flow uninterrupted. The appropriate reflective tone introduced in the opening stanza is sustained throughout. This writer is a genuine wordsmith.
2nd Place: A Soldier Brave by Brenda Joy
There is an appropriate balance with the imagery of this poem on war. Extremes have been avoided. The author shows good control of metre and rhyme and brings the poem to a forceful conclusion. The public would do well to read this poem.
3rd Place: Shadows by David Campbell
Like war, this topic of abduction and abuse can be taken to extremes but this poet has not made that mistake. There is a control and subtlety in the imagery that requires the reader to interpret the implications described. The simple concluding imagery is powerful.
Highly Commended: Charlie and the Doc by Catherine Clarke
This writer has good control of metre and rhyme. While the narrative is interesting and the imagery relevant, the innovation was limited.
Highly Commended: One Good Year by Kevin Pye
Generally consistent metre and ………rhyme. Without being memorable the imagery is relevant and the narrative entertaining.
Highly Commended: A Farewell to Mod. Cons. by Brenda Joy
Consistent metre and accurate rhyme. A trip down memory lane with some modern day appliances.
Highly Commended: Sue’s Barney by Leonie Parker
An interesting ballad that brings the sequence of events to an appropriate conclusion. Imagery suitable without being memorable.
Highly Commended: A Musing by Brenda Joy
Clever description of the art of the poet. The writer demonstrates excellent control of metre and rhyme.
Highly Commended: Missing by Ellis Campbell
This has excellent metre and rhyme. While the imagery at times is forceful its connection at times to the topic “Missing” is tenuous.
Open Age - Other Poetry - Judges: Ynes Sanz & Damian Lewis
1st Place: Song (for Ben McNamara) by Brett Dionysius
A powerful vision of our place in the cosmos -- while still a celebration of an individual life. Not a maudlin reaction to the loss of someone worn down by the world, but a salute to hope, '... fast asleep/The bright orchard of his bed, the wick of his/Soul burned down; the blood-lit fuse was fed.' The use of dense, abstract language might have taken the emotional edge off this eulogy for an urban skater boy, but the vivid originality of the imagery means that the reader is not spared. Rich clusters of fresh language are laid on thickly as in an oil painting. The reader is compelled to read slowly and weigh each image as the poem draws us reluctantly to the ending sign-posted in an opening which invites us to question our version of ourselves -- 'we're not the consumers, but the all consumed. Stars will eat us.'
2nd Place: Rare Gem by Ella Ruuskanen
This remarkable poem uses the voice and poignant thoughts of a grieving sibling to tell the story of a child, Adimu, the 'rare gem' of the title. An East African albino girl is no safer from superstition and violence in her grave than in life. The story is told with great restraint and simplicity. 'By noontime,/ my head is in the shade of the bush,/but yours - you must wait/in the heat and the white/of the sun/for that little while longer' The free verse form skilfully develops the story of what happened and gives weight to each detail of the story and its narrator's emotions. It ends on a note of hope: the gift of a papai tree, to shade her grave.
3rd Place: Darts by Brett Dionysius
This poem tells a yarn about a pair of door-knocking Mormons with the absolute ring of truth. Tightly-written and amusing through its use of language and symbolism, it draws the reader into complicity in the guilt and astonishment of the children in the story: 'they froze as if the power of God's/Children could detect the living from behind weatherboard /Walls.' Its theme of human weakness is universal, but the wry humour, and childish delight, nostalgic detail and sting in the tale are all pure Australiana.
Highly Commended: Variations on Rain in the Time of Drought by Mark Miller
In this poem, voice and cadence provide additional unifying factors in a series of scenes like scattered snapshots, each of which contain gems of visual imagery. The impact of drought runs through it all, from 'a stray calf's head ... loud with flies' to ' the bills left unopened /on the verandah floor.'
Highly Commended: Waiting by Vanessa Page
This entry illustrates the power of economy. '..how silk sheeted sky spills over to inhabit/the impressions you've left'. Intensely observed detail and language crammed with meaning convey the emotional quality of this kind of waiting.
Highly Commended: Currawongs by Penelope Cottier
'They watch us watching them,/estimate our worth, and dismiss us/from their mental menu: Too big/head too tough to spear with beak.' Sharply observed and tightly written, this poem pins the bird to the page.
Highly Commended: Double Glazed and Frosted by Jo Tate
Trenchant writing makes it a hard read to return to: 'Custom suit hangs lifeless as a body bag/Ticketed and testified clean'. Moments of faltering language can't dilute this poem’s insightful chill.
Highly Commended: Forty Years On by Peter Franks
Well executed in the style of a traditional ballad, rhyme and metre are never allow to impede this story of a Vietnam Vet in a thought-provoking reflection on war after plenty of time to reflect. 'We shelled them and sent airstrikes - the whole thing made no sense:/The country saved? We watched it all collapse!'
Highly Commended: From the Balcony by Michael Crane
'My hands are held by my dead father and he sighs/As I leave him to walk down the stairs onto the stage'. A child's memories are conjured up with a well-sustained title image. The judges agreed that this was a strong, very interesting piece, despite needing more polish to give it the internal structure and melody to make the transition from poetic prose to free verse.
Highly Commended: On Insects Caught by Light by Caitlin Prouatt
A stream-of-consciousness impression, elusive like its subject: ‘Necklace of street-lights,/wave thundering loud/I shall sing/for this/time—'
Open Age - Local Poetry - Judges: Ynes Sanz & Damian Lewis
1st Place: Old Boy – For Norman Gibbs by Brett Dionysius
This telling account of a brave man's life weaves authentic detail into fresh, creative and evocative language and imagery. 'He knelt, transfixed by the cross-hairs of /Jesus...' and 'In a trench, men writhed like needle /Sharp rats after eating strychnine..' It is bound together with strong layers of symbolism as we are taken through formative experiences at church school, a working man's life and war and finally, a sister's struggle for his qualities to be recognised. This well-crafted, disciplined and moving poem is interesting as a narrative, calls up respect for the people who are its subjects and leaves the reader reflecting on its broader universal themes.
2nd Place: Tea at Florance’s by Janet Findlay
A warm and authentic-feeling take on the passing of youth and of an Ipswich institution. It is moving and free of sentimentality. The voice is natural and enlivened by self-deprecating humour, 'I am a cranky old woman /Who says inappropriate things /At the checkout'. The poet handles the free form well and the poem holds its shape and tone from the first engaging stanza to the 'hook' at the end.
3rd Place: Pit Pony by Isabelle Kearsley
This poem is remarkable for its ability to 'nail' a topic with economy and simplicity of language. 'Patient, always patient, /He waits, remembers---..' In nineteen short lines it conjures up a significant part of Ipswich's past, and of thousands of people's lives, through a vivid and empathetic portrait of this animal. The last line illuminates our imagination as it does the horse's memory.
Highly Commended: Pa Bill’s Vest by Rebecca Lynch
Tactile imagery draws the reader irresistibly into this intimate account of a beloved, long dead grandfather. 'I miss how your tobacco kisses/used to tickle my Vegemite cheeks.'
Highly Commended: River by Brett Dionysius
A finely ironic poem about this city and its relationship with the Bremer. Strong images create the clash of fantasy and reality. 'If you were an Indian river, then you'd be some kind of affluent goddess...'
Highly Commended: Fruit Foxes by Paul Petersen
This lyric poem about a night creature rewards re-reading with its underlying layers of meaning. Some teasing word usage. 'Sweet evening came, not a moment too late.'
Chairperson’s Encouragement Awards
5-17 Years: Trucks by James Woodeson
This vibrant, energetic text uses alliteration effectively. Some difficulty with syntax is found but the overall message is clear!
Open Age: The Bush Baby by Samantha White
The poet captures the plight of the bush mother who has to cope with child birth devoid of the support available to city mothers. Generally, this writer demonstrates a clear understanding of the consistent metre and accurate rhymes necessary in the bush poetry genre. The poignant imagery of the final three stanzas is simple, innovative and makes an impact on the reader. This writer should be encouraged.
Special Ipswich 150 Category: Life in Ipswich: Proud Past, Exciting Future
14-17 Years:Winner: The Wonderful City of Ipswich by Marnie Mitchell
Winner: If Banjo Came to Ipswich by Leonie Parker
This is an innovative approach to revealing the modern Ipswich. Some inconsistencies in metre but the rhymes are accurate. The final stanza provides a strong conclusion.
Highly Commended: The Woman at Number 12 by Mary McCarthy
Effectively uses the metaphor of the changing fortunes of a historic house to mirror stages in the history of the city. This device allows the poet to take a fresh and unsentimental treatment of times such as the depression. The 'riddle' in the title keeps the reader engaged and emotionally involved in the story until the end. The future of this 'old lady' is assured by a new owner.
Maiden Flight by Brenda Joy
The writer creates a humorous narrative that is entertaining. Would benefit from some editing. Generally a good control of metre and rhyme.