The Manchester Review

#micropoem16 competition

For the fourth year running the Centre for New Writing and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at The University of Manchester ran a #micropoem16 competition. The competition, which was themed around Science, took place between 17 June and 11 July 2016 and asked participants to tweet their micropoem with the hashtag #micropoem16.

The entries were judged by John McAuliffe, Geoff Ryman and Eleanor Ward, and they awarded first prize to Angi Hattingh; second prize to Chiara Berrani, and joint third prize to Richard de Nooy and Sonya Douglas. You can read all of this year’s entries by filtering #micropoem16 on Twitter.

Angi Hattingh

There are dark spots on the sun
bigger than the one
tiny planet crossing it


Chiara Berrani

Sunlight, light wave, wave motion, motionless, lesson learned.


Richard de Nooy

And so you hit the lab and put
your grim equation to the test
beam + rope + body = X
But where does
gravity fit in
and how?


Sonya Douglas

And if I press my skin against the bark
I will surely feel it move.
I am carbon.
I am a tree walking.


The judges made the following comments about this year’s competition: “Consilience is the word used to describe how evidence from independent and unrelated sources can come to the same conclusions. It was an idea dear to the great English poet Geoffrey Hill, who died last month, and liked the fact that different kinds of thinking and research can jump together to the same conclusion. Scientists sometimes arrive at the same places as poets, and poets use science as a source for metaphor as well as being a way of knowing the world: the poems we’ve chosen draw on both poetic tools and scientific knowledge. A well-chosen line-break seems to bring us closer to an image, or clever repetitions put readers on an unusual wavelength, while the black wit of other poems ask questions about who we are…Thanks to everyone who entered and hope you enjoy our choices too.”

For information about next year’s competition, follow the Centre for New Writing on Twitter.

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