‘A difficult, honest admission of grief, written in restrained, effective language’ – that is how judge and current New Zealand Poet Laureate, Cilla McQueen, describes the winning poem in the National Schools Poetry Award for 2011.
Eden Tautali from Auckland’s St Cuthberts College won the Award with her poem ‘Nan’, addressing the death of her Nan and the experience of speaking at her funeral. While it has the hard bits about loss and regret, it also has the comfort of warm memories.
Entries came from senior secondary students all over New Zealand. Cilla said that their words gave her insights into a whole generation – ‘their feelings, relationships with people and with language, the ways they see the world – as only poetry can.’ She was impressed by how ‘these poets ask hard questions about society, spirituality and relationships.’
2011 Award winner : Eden Tautali – ‘Nan‘
Finalists : Amy Barnard – ‘Note for My Singing Teacher‘
Finalists : Lucy Brownlee – ‘What Matters is the Hiss of Powder‘
Finalists : Lachlan Dixon – ‘Being Pakeha‘
Finalists : Madison Hamill – ‘The Window‘
Finalists :Chelsea Lund – ‘Brother‘
Finalists : Alexandra Morris – ‘Grace‘
Finalists : Vinay Patel – ‘Turning a blind eye‘
Finalists : Hayley Russell – ‘Only Falling‘
Finalists : Nikita Ward – ‘The Green stone‘