Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse 2010
Congratulations to the winners of the 2010 Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse!
First Prize $3,000
Philip Brown, South Sea Odyssey
Second Prize $1,000
Liz Davies, The Queen of the Sea
Third Prize $400
Ellaraine Lockie, Tao of Taos
Fourth Prize $250
Crystal-Angelee Burrell, Groceries on the Path Unpaved
Most Highly Commended $150
- Carmine Dandrea, In Bangalore
- Liz Davies, My Nights of Moon
- Phill Doran, Triolet for Fishermen
- Phill Doran, From Darkness, Deeper Than the Wells of Time
- Ellaraine Lockie, Writer’s Retreat
- Fred Kruger, Facing Alzheimer’s and… the Dying of the Light
- Gregory Loselle, Rondeaux de Chambre: Barbara’s Room
- Johnmichael Simon, May You Live in Interesting Times
First Prize - $3,000 - Philip Brown
"South Sea Odyssey"
The judges said, "If ever a poem deserved to win First Prize, 'South Sea Odyssey' by Philip Brown deserves that honor. Here is a poem that has everything judges look for in a top-winning entry. As the author himself comments: 'Working on Pitcairn Island with the descendants of the mutiny on the Bounty, I was struck by the toytown simplicity of living in a tiny and totally isolated community of less than 50 people. I was also intrigued by the experience of being in a world which encapsulated a fabulous romantic story and blurred the distinction between reality and fantasy.' The poet describes his quest as 'elusive treasure' or even an 'idle thought', yet he has brought the mystery, the ideal and finally 'the exotic waste of paradise' into the reader's consciousness; or, as he himself describes it, he has made fantasy—at least fleetingly—tangible. A hard task indeed, but Brown rises to the challenge magnificently."
Second Prize - $1,000 - Elizabeth Davies
"The Queen of the Sea"
The judges said, "Back in the days of Homer, legend was the main staple of poetry. The judges were glad to find that quite a few entrants were very capably continuing this traditional form. However, many writers remained content to simply re-iterate legends that have literally been done to death. King Arthur was a favorite choice, while Biblical stories like Eve's apple also figured strongly. In 'The Queen of the Sea', however, Elizabeth Davies has provided an intriguing account that is not only new (at least to the judges) and exciting, but superbly expressed. The very first line piques the reader's interest: 'She has no castle, this queen, but coral reefs.' Even more importantly, that interest is not dissipated but increased as the poem progresses and we are told 'she laughed at suitors, taunted them.' In revenge, the medicine man 'brewed an ancient remedy for the hurts of male pride.' That remedy was both startling and swift. A great poem with a strong narrative thread and telling imagery!"
Third Prize - $400 - Ellaraine Lockie
"Tao of Taos"
The judges said, "Descriptive poetry is the poetry of choice for more than half the entrants in this contest. Unfortunately, almost all these poems simply describe familiar scenes and objects in much the same language and idioms used by many other writers, new and old. In 'Tao of Taos', however, Ellaraine Lockie has come up with a poem that is deftly original, both in setting and phrasing. Her scene is a cafe in New Mexico and her language is not only pertinent, effective and striking, but often delightfully picturesque. 'Ceiling fans slow-dance the soft shawl of sun' is a wonderful line, and we admire the apt idea of indoor water recycling the sound of baptism. Indeed a cafe with a feast of imagery!"
Fourth Prize - $250 - Crystal-Angelee Burrell
"Groceries on the Path Unpaved"
The judges said, "It's hard to believe that Crystal-Angelee Burrell is a 17-year-old, currently attending Boston University. True, she has long been a poetry devotee, but 'Groceries on the Path Unpaved' reveals not only a deep maturity and a hypnotic concern for the underdog, but a mastery of technique that even the most experienced poet would envy. It's often said that 'rules are made to be broken'. Here is a narrative poem that breaks rules, but does so with a brilliance that immeasurably increases the title incident's dramatic and emotional impact. "
John Howard Reid has won first prizes and other awards in prestigious literary events. A former journalist and magazine editor, he has published several historical novels, a collection of poetry, a guide to winning literary contests, and over fifty books of film criticism and movie history. See his work at Lulu. He lives in Wyong, Australia.
Dee C. Konrad
A leading educator and published author, Mrs. Dee Konrad was Associate Professor in the English faculty of Barat College of DePaul University, and served as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the year 2000-2001.