The Crows

by Angus Cronin Harrison, Brisbane State High School, South Brisbane


It’s there.
It’s always there.
Staring at me like it doesn’t have eyelids.
Its sapphire blue eyes are beautiful,
Yet deceiving.
Its black feathers remind of a shadow,
That follows me everywhere.
It opens its beak and screams,
Like someone in terrible pain.
I run for my life.
Yet it follows.
Yet THEY follow.
I keep running and try to find a way to escape.
But then I am suddenly consumed by the dark swarm of evil.
And once they finish,
The crows will hunt once more.
 


Judge’s Report

Zenobia Frost

This year’s Paul Sherman Award entries showed a great deal of creativity. What struck me was that though the poets’ topics were diverse — tackling war, the environment, family — the poems themselves cleaved to more traditional verse forms. Throughout the entries, we had lots of word-music, rhyme and rhythm. The poems that stood out as winners were the ones who used this music most subtly.

It will be no surprise to hear me say that I read a lot of poetry. It might be stating the obvious, too, to hear that I read some pretty literary fiction. But the books that really, really excited me in childhood happen to be the ones I still reread most today: Harry Potter.

I thought I’d share with you my two favourite pieces of advice JK Rowling gives to young writers: “Read everything you can get your hands on” and “be ruthless about protecting your writing time.” The poems here suggest the start of lots of promising careers in writing. Poets, make sure you each cast Patronuses around your creativity; protect it and foster brave writing by challenging yourself: read fantastic and fantastical books and poems.

Three poems were highly commended this year: “Metaphorical Poem”, which experimented with the power of metaphors to evoke feeling; “Dragon’s Lair”, which constructs a fantastical narrative; and “The Girl Who Made the Rivers Run Red”, a spooky poem with a great rhythm.

This year’s third-place winner was “Four Seasons”, which employed a modified haiku form to chart the changing of seasons throughout a year. This poem uses evocative images to set a gentle pace. In second place — and with a fantastic title — “Singing at 52-Hertz” is an emotive poem combining a conversational tone with experiments in rhyme.

This year’s Paul Sherman Award goes to “The Crows”, a short poem evoking the tense mood of Hitchcock’s The Birds. I loved this poem for the quiet sense of humour in its melodrama; its powerful, creepy imagery — “It’s always there/ staring at me like it doesn’t have eyelids”; and its easy free-verse rhythm.

Thank you and congratulations to all entrants, but especially to this evening’s prize-winners.
 

Upcoming Events

Grace Loyden & the new SATE

Grace Loyden will present a session on a aspects of the new SATE at Townsville Grammar School on Saturday 28th July 2018, starting at 9:00 am. Cost is $20 which is to be paid by the website. Download the flyer for all the details. ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 28th July 2018
Venue:   Townsville Grammar School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Townsville Breakfast Book Club

Grace Loyden is organising a series of Breakfast Book Clubs starting at 9:00 am on: Sunday 11 February - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Sunday 21 April - The White Earth by Andrew McGahan Sunday 5 August - Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood Sunday 28 October - We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Sunday 5th August 2018
  Repeating On specific dates
Venue:   Jam Corner Restaurant


State Conference 2018

State Conference in 2018 will address the theme Vision 2020: Seeing the future of English Teaching. Keynote speakers: Samuel Wagan Watson is an award-winning Indigenous poet and professional raconteur. Born in Brisbane in 1972, he is of Munanjali, Birri Gubba, German and Irish descent. Samuel's first collection of poems won the 19...

Category:   State Conference
Start Time:   8:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 18th August 2018
Venue:   Lourdes Hill School
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Masterclass - Unit 4

This event will provide participants with the opportunity to explore the syllabus for semester 4 in detail. English and Literature will be offered on Day One; English will be repeated on DayTwo together with EALD and Essential English. Participants may register for one day or both. Program will be available on Thursday 13 September. R...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 20th October 2018
Venue:   QUT, Kelvin Grove
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Beginning Teachers Day

The Beginning Teachers Day this year will be held on Saturday 27 October at University of South Queensland (USQ) Springfield campus. This day is designed to meet the needs of pre-service teachers, those in their first five years of teaching and more experienced teachers who are new to teaching English. The program will be available on...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 27th October 2018
Venue:   Springfield Campus of USQ
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


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English Educator of the week

Rachael Christopherson
Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Number of years teaching:
25.  12 years at BGGS

Where else have you taught?
St Edmund's College, Ipswich (all boys)
Mt Alvernia College, Kedron (all girls)
Downlands College, Toowoomba (co-ed boarding with Ag Studies programme)

 

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