POETS ON THE WRITERS WALK competition results

At a salon for Poetry Day at City Gallery Wellington on Friday 25 August, competition judge Janis Freegard announced the winners of the POETS ON THE WRITERS WALK competition run by Wellington Writers Walk and the Wellington Branch of New Zealand Society of Authors for Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2023.

You can find full details, including author bios and notes on winning poems, in our Announcement – Results and Janis Freegard’s Judge’s Report (pdf files).

The overall winner in the Youth category (writers 18 years or under) was Oshadha Perera, for his poem ‘Falling’. In second place in the youth category was Bill Kelly, for ‘Rainbow Walk’, and in third place (youth) was Sarah-Kate Simons, for ‘Kiss’.

The overall winner in the Open category was Adrienne Matthews for her poem ‘Passport to Reside – Pōneke’. In second place in the open category was Heidi North, for ‘There’s always an edge here’. Awarded joint third place (open) were Bryony Rogers for ‘Evening Edge’, and Zac Hing for ‘Interstices’.

The winners of each the five competition challenges were also announced: Grace challenge was won by Adrienne Matthews for ‘Passport to Reside – Pōneke’; Kidman challenge was won by Matthew Chamberlain for ‘Form’; Manhire challenge was won jointly by Emma Neale for ‘Command-Save’ and Oshadha Perera for ‘Falling’; Edmond challenge was won by Saige England for ‘There Is No Loss When Freeing A Poem From Itself’; and the Writers Walk challenge was won by Kristen Phillips for ‘Writers Walk Sculptures’.

Five additional entries were commended overall: Sherrie Lee for ‘A Hard Place’, Jax Clark for ‘Place’, Mia Farlane for ‘Twenty-three Wellington Writers, 2023’, Wes Lee for ‘Night Harbour (Te Whanganui-a-Tara), and Bronwyn Hughes for ‘my crayons’.

Congratulations to the winners and commended poems, and congratulations and thanks to all who entered our competition and attended the wonderful salon.

Competition winners at Poetry Day salon (L to R): Mia Farlane, Sherrie Lee, Jax Clark, Janis Freegard (competition judge), Adrienne Matthews, Bill Kelly, Saige England, Bryony Rogers, Kristen Phillips

At the salon we were joined by very special guest Dame Fiona Kidman, who read from her poem ’Speaking with my grandmothers’ that her Writers Walk sculpture quotes; by Marilyn Duckworth, another distinguished writer represented on the Walk; and by competition judge, Janis Freegard.

Keep an eye on our social media channels – NZSA Wellington Branch is on Twitter/X and Facebook, and Wellington Writers Walk is on Twitter/X, Facebook and Instagram (links on the Writers Walk website) – as we celebrate the winning poems, and share photos from the salon on Poetry Day.

The competition and salon were supported by seed-funding from Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2023. The salon was supported by Wellington Venues Subsidy funding from Wellington City Council. We’re grateful to these funders, and to the fabulous crew at City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi for hosting us for the salon.

Questions: If you have any queries, please email wellington@nzauthors.org.nz

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