Joint 4th Prize: Apunda, by Ben Rhys Palmer

Joint 4th Prize in our 2023 Open Poetry Competition was awarded to Apunda, Ben Rhys Palmer. @BenRhysPalmer

This is what Jonathan Edwards, our judge, said about this poem:

Simply put, this poem made me laugh louder than any other in the competition. It gives its own unforgettably unique spin on the work of writers like James Tate and Caroline Bird, offering us the narrative of a unique relationship between an ostrich racer and an ostrich. What I love about this poem is its understanding – rare in poetry – that tenderness and comedy complement each other beautifully. The sentence which really gets me, every time, is this: ‘We had just two working legs between us, and as we lay there in a jumbled heap, I wasn’t sure which was hers and which was mine.’ I love this writing for its celebration of the imaginative power of poetry, and for its brilliant management of tone.

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