The winning poem Pas de Soeurs was complimented by judges for “its strong and distinctive poetic voice, by its original and compelling imagery, and by the way the poem managed to capture the ambivalence of the sisterly relationship.”
Second prize was awarded to Sarah Lawrence Programme student Christopher Kelly (English, 2015) for his short story maybe in my head I can make sense of the sand. The judges were impressed by “Its ambitious structure, sharp perception of problems racial identity and hybridity, and an assured handling of the relationship between fiction and reality.
Honourable mentions were awarded to Zoe Thomas (History, 2013) and Daniel Amir (Oriental Studies, 2013) for a short story and translations of three sonnets from Hebrew.
The judges Jane Griffiths, Tutor in English and Cláudia Pazos Alonso, Tutor in Portuguese considered 13 entries: two translations, six poems (or collections of poems), and five short stories.
“In making our judgement we were keen to reward works that demonstrated command of language and form, that displayed ambition and originality, and which were engaging to read,” they said.
Katia wins £100 and Christopher wins £50.
Pas De Sœurs
I cut my hair last year and yours
Grew in its place, down to your waist.
That lion’s look dissolves the news I brought
Home, bottle-of-wine style.
I feel the tough pistachio shell crack
Lopsidedly. I feel the floor as if a single
Drawing pin is waiting for my confidence.
You extend a leg, hugged in blue elastic.
Armed with words like paper shreds in rain
I’m unsure of where to cross: and though
We came from that same, ineffable zero
My sister-tongue is failing me.
Remember when you did your room
Like I did mine, and I was sour because
You copied me so faithfully? You’re vast
Now, like an ocean in fog; a dream
That escapes from out between eye-lids.
However often you make that face I’ll
Believe a smile lies, sleeping, underneath
The bed, just out of reach.