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Mayor's Poetry Challenge 2015

In 2015, Mayor Fred Eisenberger took up the Mayor’s Poetry City Challenge issued by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. An open competition was held with Hamilton residents submitting 40 works of original poetry for adjudication by a citizen jury. The Challenge resulted in local poet John Terpstra reading aloud at an April council meeting to mark National Poetry Month, celebrating poetry, writing, small presses and the contribution of poets and all writers.

Winning Poems

"The Highway That Became a Footpath” and “Giants” by John Terpstra.

John Terpstra is the author of many books of poetry. His poem The Highway That Became a Footpath was originally published in his book called Brilliant Falls (Gaspereau Press 2013). Brilliant Falls won the 2014 Hamilton Arts Council Award for Poetry earlier this year. His Poem Giants was originally published in his book about Hamilton, called Falling into Place (Gaspereau 2002, 2012). Giants was also chosen by Bookmarks Project and can be found on a plaque mounted at the edge of the escarpment in Sam Lawrence Park. Mr. Terpstra is also the author of the prose projects: The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter (short listed for the Charles Taylor Prize) and Skin Boat.

Honourable Mention

  1. Night Slides" by Chris Pannell originally published by Wolsak and Wynn Publisher.
    Chris Pannell’s latest poetry book is A Nervous City (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013). This title recently won the Kerry Schooley Book Award from the Hamilton Arts Council. In 2010, his book Drive won the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Arts Hamilton Poetry Book of the Year. From 1993 to 2005 he ran the new writing workshop and published two anthologies of work by that group. He has a book of poetry forthcoming in 2016 called How We Came to Pass. He is a former board member of the gritLIT Writers Festival and a former DARTS bus driver. He hosts and helps organize the monthly Hamilton reading series Lit Live.
  2. "Eight stanzas for Radial Trail" by Ryan Pratt
  3. Burlington Heights” by Paddy Chitty
    Paddy Chitty was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. A graduate of McMaster University, she has creative writing certificates from both McMaster University and Mohawk College. Her poetry and short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies in Canada and the U.S. In 2010, she placed third in Women’s Words, University of Alberta Postcard Story Contest, in 2007 received an honourable mention in the Pearls Fiction - Postcard Writing Contest, and was short listed in 2006 for the gritLIT Short Story Contest. Paddy currently serves on the executive committee of The Hamilton Poetry Centre.