To celebrate our tenth anniversary, The Footpath Library ran a national poetry competition for school-aged students on the theme of courage. Students could write traditional verse, create a visual or graphic representation of a poem or performance poetry such as rap rhyme or song.
The word was picked up via writers’ centres, the library network, and local newspapers seeing entries come from all over the country.
Chair of the judging panel and one of The Footpath Library’s NSW Ambassadors and novelist Emily Maguire, had this to say about the quality of this year’s entries:
Courage is a huge theme and possibilities for exploring it through poetry are endless. The shortlisted poems displayed an impressive diversity of form and style, and an equally impressive range of thematic interpretation: from the small, quiet surge of courage that comes with stepping out of a personal comfort zone to the societally-demanded courage of soldiers; from the usually unremarked-upon courage required to live a decent life, to the inspirational, world-changing courage of Malala Yousafzai. In reading the entries, we were frequently struck with the emotional generosity, intellectual maturity and outward-looking curiosity shown by these young poets.
Maguire went on to say that the judges, who included TFL Victorian Ambassador Kate Holden, performance poet Candy Royalle and hip-hop artist L-FRESH the LION, found it phenomenally tough to pick the winners. Each of the six winners across the primary and secondary school categories possessed “that illusive, but irresistible ability to cause someone reading (or listening to) perhaps their tenth or twentieth poem that morning to sit up straight, and, with a shiver of excitement, say ‘Yes! Oh! Yes!’
Over the month of February Founding Director Sarah Garnett, judges Emily Maguire and Kate Holden and Ambassador Program Coordinator Meredith Jaffé have enjoyed meeting our talented poets and presenting the prizes to the winners.
The 2013 EPIC! Poetry Competition winners are:
First Prize winners received a laptop – thanks to Harvey Norman
Second prize winners received a digital camera – thanks to Mark Alderson and Camera House
Third prize winners received an iPod – thanks to Harvey Norman
HONOURS ROLL for highly commended entries
Primary School category: Julie Tieu, Yowie Bay NSW for “Courage”
Secondary School category: Mina Mitric, Perth WA for “Courage”, and
Secondary School category: Stephanie Long, St. Ives NSW for “Leap of Faith”