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Te Tairawhiti Poetry results

The results are in and the winners are . . . all of us!

I’ve had many thanks from the poets, their parents and poetry lovers throughout Tairawhiti for giving the chance to read and write during the lockdown. It was a community effort that paid dividends.

The biggest prize went to the readers who were treated to new poetry (and some mighty fine work at that) the world has never seen.

I know, no one wants to hear that. “We want answers, Jack. Definitive results showing the best of the best.”

Well I’m sorry reader, poetry doesn’t work like that. And I refuse to name a single winner . . . So I had someone else do it for me.

Enter Benita Kape, Te Tairawhiti Poetry Competition’s poet laureate.

I asked Kape to choose her favourite poems from each category.

Without further ado, here are the prize winners from the Te Tairawhiti Poetry Competition.

First place winner in the Open section, receiving a $100 voucher kindly donated from Warehouse Stationery, is Helayna Ruifrok for WOULD WE HAVE NOTICED?

Kape said the questioning title drew her attention, gave the poem energy and gave it a natural path of progression.

“Why should we notice? That’s our next question,” said Kape.

“The poet goes on to show us the many ways we might be noticing but which in our busy lives we so often miss.

“She presents her poem as a blessing without actually using that word. That’s poetic skill. There are some stunning lines here, like:

Would we have noticed or even


the subtleties of change and

the intricacies of good?

“The repetition of that question ‘I wonder . . . would we have noticed’, is gentle and respectful of the reader’s place in the poem, in the world in general.

“Yes, the world has changed and though this poem is an address to the season, it is much more than that.

“Though we may be troubled by the changes in the world of humans, we have playful tui, the creek, lambs who know none of our cares.

“A kind conversation with herself and us. Beautiful poem.”

Kape also had two honourable mentions.

She said I Feel You Spring by Wanda Thompson-Keil takes readers with the poet in her sensing the new season.

“She has us working it out as if we are there in the room with her. This poem just warmed my heart.”

The second was LOCKY D TWENTY ONE by Emma, which Kape called risk-taking, funny, and enjoyably self-deprecating.

“A unique poem. Is the poet taking the piss of poetry? Of course, and she does it because she knows that is what poetry can do.”

In the Rangatahi section there were two prize winners.

"Come Back Golden Hypnosis by Amy Adcock is a mature and highly commendable poem, written with colour, rhythm and energy," said Kape.

And 7am by Sam Mason-Green, a poem Kape said she read several times over with the work growing on her with each read, was also a winner.

Both have won family passes to minigolf at ​​the Gisborne i-SITE, thanks to Trust Tairawhiti.

Thank you to everyone who submitted, or kept their poems to themselves, those who encouraged others to write, Warehouse Stationery and Trust Tairawhiti for the prizes, and, of course, to the readers.