Joint 4th Prize: Teaching English, by Andrew Jamison

Joint fourth prize in our 2023 Open Poetry Competition was awarded to Teaching English, by Andrew Jamison.

Here’s what our judge Jonathan Edwards said about it:

Few things obsess me as a writer more than the relationship between sentence and line, and this poem won me immediately by the energy and life of its single-sentence opening stanza. Drawing from The History Boys and Dead Poets Society to look at movie representations of teachers, that opening stanza zings and excites. The question then is whether the poem can shift us into new emotional territory in its sestet, and it manages that wonderfully, with its squirrel viewed through a window and its gorgeous last sentence. Teaching is absolute glory and absolute sadness, and this poem pours it all into fourteen wonderful lines.

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