The winners and special mentions of the Magma Poetry Competitions – for the Judge’s Prize and the Editors’ Prize – will be reading their poems at Keats House in Hampstead on Friday 11th March at 7pm, and you can buy your £5 ticket here or pay on the door and join us for a wonderful night of winning poems and a reading by Daljit Nagra, as well as some sparkling refreshments to celebrate.
For the Judge’s Prize judged by Daljit Nagra:
First prize goes to Lucy Ingrams for Thinking with Goya’s ‘They Descend Quarrelling’
Second prize goes to Maya Popa for You Always Wished the Animals Would Leave
Third prize goes to Soul Patel for Skiing
For the Editors’ Prize judged by a panel of recent Magma Editors:
First prize goes to Maggie Smith for Weep Up
Second prize goes to Paul Bregazzi for Trajectory
Third prize goes to Barbara Hickson for Succinct
Daljit Nagra, who had a tough job judging thousands of entries, explained why he settled on Lucy’s poem as the overall winner for the Judge’s Prize: “The poem rises from the personal to a global politics with subtle ease. Given the current prevalence for ekphrastic poems, the approach can often lack freshness yet this poem had me gripped from its lively opening, and existed with an authority that did not depend on knowledge of the painting.”
Lucy, who scoops £1,000, and has a long history with Magma as a contributor and reader, said she was overjoyed to find out her poem had won.
“Winning a competition is not at all what you expect when you enter the competition, and since hearing the news, I’ve mainly been wondering, wonderingly, ‘What is it about this particular poem that had the elastic to leap across all the many hurdles of the judging process?’ and realising that perhaps I don’t know as much about the poem as I thought I did? At the same time, I’ve felt very happy that the competition the poem has so mysteriously won is the Magma competition! Magma was the first magazine to publish my poems – for which I always feel grateful, and as though Magma is somehow a ‘poetry home’ to me.”
Editors’ Prize winner Maggie, who also wins £1,000 for her poem Weep Up, is an Ohio-based poet who teaches at The Ohio State University and cares for her two small children – one of whom inspired the poem. She told Magma her surprise on discovering her success.
“What wonderful news! I’m just thrilled–and quite surprised–to have won. You’ve made my week, and it’s only Monday.”
This year’s panel of recent Magma editors was made up of Dom Bury, Susannah Hart, Chris Kerr, Rob Mackenzie and Jon Sayers. A short poem needs to pack a lot into a few lines, and so the panel was particularly impressed with poems that were able to convey real depth of experience or emotion within the 10-line limit. Maggie Smith’s Weep Up stood out for its lyricism, deft use of language and delicacy of touch. Our second prize winner, Paul Bregazzi’s Trajectory, is a very skilfully achieved concrete poem, and our third prize winner, Succinct by Barbara Hickson, is exactly what its title says – for a very short poem, it expresses a great deal.
Congratulations to all our winners and many thanks to everyone who entered and made judging such a difficult decision because the standard was incredibly high.
Special mentions (in no particular order) for the Judge’s Prize are:
Olimpia has a Problem with Shoes by Kathleen Jones
SONG by Robert Hamberger
I put apple by Mario Petrucci
Tiresias by Lesley Saunders
Confession by Rebecca Watts
Special mentions (in no particular order) for the Editors’ Prize are:
As Above, So Below by Neil Ferguson
Last Light by Simon Richey
Soaking in Vinegar by Catherine Edmunds
With Feathers by Polly Atkin
Ai Wewei’s Memory Test by Louise Vale