Happy Bloomsday!
The Winner of the Anam Cara/writing.ie Poetry Competition is Pippa Little of Cramlington (Old Village), Northumberland, England, and she has won a place in Susan Rich's "Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Writing Workshop Concerning Visual Art,  " workshop retreat.  Susan has also awarded two honorable mentions to  Valentina Gnup of Portland, Oregon for "The Leaf Warbler" and Jose A. Alcantara, Carbondale, Colorado for "I and the Village." who will both  receive a 50% discount on either their own individual retreat or a workshop retreat of their choice.

From Susan Rich:
This poem captures the dreamlike atmosphere of Chagall’s work without enslaving itself to the painting’s imagery. I read this piece and each time, find a new idea. My favorite line is “I love you as rose light is necessary to skin.” Gorgeous work.

The Winner:

I And The Village
(After Chagall)
by Pippa Little

I love you as a circle loves a shooting star
And you are mine as a bride is

Croon of my heart, you sing me stepping-stones
And you are mine as a blind eye is

I love you as a spice box craves the Sabbath
And you are mine as your instep is

Over the moon and far away home
Each word is the same word is

I love you as milk loves to be lapped
And you are mine as the bucket is

I love you as rose light is necessary to skin
And you are mine as its lullaby is.

Over the sun and into the dark
Each word is the same word and at the same time another is.

Honourable Mentions:

The Leaf Warbler
by Valentina Gnup

In the middle of a morning we leave each other
holding only a bouquet of words.

Isn’t every nest temporary?
In the middle of our lives we lose parents,

surrender the tall trees of our children,
walk away from houses, villages, jobs—

like the dog that becomes faithful to the goat,
we choose the wrong people. Who is born holy?

A man with arms painted the deep jade of a leaf warbler
strums a stranger’s body like a harp.

His fingers travel over her skin, as he apologizes
to heaven on a cross around his neck. We can’t

unwrite our histories; we will hurt, and we will heal—
our nests, bowls of moonlight, the years will undo.

I and the Village
by Jose A. Alcantara

The towns we carry rise like yeasted bread.
The bearded man who is not our father
working his scythe of green envy.
Our mother standing on her head
fiddling a dark blue song.
The wood-slat houses. The hollow church.
The animals who used to know us.
Every memory a bubble and froth
down alleys of blood and milk,
where, like pilgrim’s paint slapped
beneath a half-eclipsing moon,
we reflect deeper eyes than ours,
and through the darkest dark of night
find a small tree growing.

A tremendous thank you to all of the 120 poets who entered this competition for their fine work, and we look forward to your participation in future competitions.


The following ten poems (in alphabetical order) made it on to the short list for the Anam Cara/writing.ie poetry competition.  The winner of the place in Susan Rich’s Workshop, “Speaking Pictures: A Poetry Workshop Concerning Art” (to be held 4 through 10 August), will be announced here and at www.writing.ie in time for Bloomsday, 16 June.  

Thanks to all who entered this highly competitive contest and congratulations to those poets on the short list.

“Commute” by Helena Nolan, Shankill, Co. Dublin, Ireland

“Chagall’s Village 1909” by Kita Santiris, Los Angeles, California, USA

“Goats and Gods” by Jennifer Mattern, North Adams, Massachusetts, USA

“I and the Village” by Jose Alantara, Carbondale, Colorado, USA

“I and the Village” by Pippa Little, Cramlington (Old Village), Northumberland, England

“I and the Village” by Ardoth Rutherford, Barboursville, West Virginia, USA

“The Leaf Warbler” by Valentina Grup, Portland, Oregon, USA

“Train” by Kelly Fordon, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA

“The Village and I” by Stephanie Conn, Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, Ireland

“Vitebsk Spring” by Avril Joy, Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, England


Anam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat Poetry Competition 2012

chagall_iandthevillageAnam Cara Writer's and Artist's Retreat and writing.ie are once again joining forces to sponsor a writing competition, this time for poets.  The winning poet will receive a place in the one-week residential retreat Speaking in Pictures: A Poetry Writing Workshop Concerning Visual Art, conducted by Susan Rich.

For a description of the workshop click here, to learn more about Susan Rich, go to: http://poet.susanrich.net/ or read her article on writing.ie revealing exactly how your poetry can benefit from revision in It's Not What You Write, It's How You Re-write.

This competition is for previously unpublished poems, no longer than 14 lines, inspired by "I and the Village" a 1911 painting by the Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, currently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

To submit, email you poem, including your name, postal address, and telephone number to Sue Booth Forbes: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The deadline is Midnight in Ireland, 29 May 2012 (GMT)

The winner will be announced for Bloomsday, 16 June 2012.  An all-poet panel of judges will select the short list, from which Susan Rich will select the winning poem.

The short list and the winning poem will be posted on www.writing.ie and Anam Cara's website.

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