lördag 19 september 2015

Poetry Slam Team Contest 2015: The final

  Today starts the final stage in the PSTC Championship 2015. Last year, a couple of my readers called it World Cup in Poetry. I see it more like a fun way to promote modern poetry. An exciting team competition between poets from all over the world. Germany can't defend their title (last years winner were Team Saxony), because they didn't qualify for the final this year. Instead we have the following seven teams:


China Blue

  I started with studying 80 anthologies in my search for interesting poems. Finally, I put together 36 teams for qualifying. From the first competition four teams advanced to the final. Nine teams were given a second chance, with new poems, to move on from the semifinals. Three additional spots in the final were at stake. 

  We can now look forward to read 28 poems (26 of them in english and two of them in swedish), written by 28 different poets. And they will be judged by a jury of five chosen members with great literary skills. 

  You are welcome to send comments about the poems in each heat. Which one is your favorite?

  Today I give you the poems in the first heat. On Tuesday (22nd), I will reveal the jury's verdict, and you can then follow developments during the 25th , 28th and 30th of September.

  Now I blow the whistle for Heat 1:

Wars, part 1 / written by Sinan Antoon, Team Iraq

When I was torn by war
I took a brush
immersed in death
and drew a window
on war’s wall
I opened it
searching for
I saw another war
and a mother
weaving a shroud
for the dead man
still in her womb


Harvest / written by Ciaran Carson, Team Ireland

a swathe
of honeyed light

cuts through
the gunsmoke

of men and horses

all over

the wheat
and barley fields

like mutilated


Black Map / written by Bei Dao, Team China Blue

in the end, cold crows piece together
the night: a black map
I’ve come home – the way back
longer than the wrong road
long as life

bring the heart of winter
when spring water and horse pills
become the words of night
when memory barks
a rainbow haunts the black market

my father’s life-spark small as a pea
I am his echo
turning the corner of encounters
a former lover hides in a wind
swirling with letters


The trout / written by Diana Brebner, Team Canada

Patient, Poetry is waiting for the
fish to jump, the body arced
over, or for Mister Right

to appear. When you least expect
it happens: your heart stops,
the fish curves space; the world,

for a moment, is perfect &
good enough. At the bottom
of a pail, a lake, a life,

something squirms and moves
upwards, a stay against
indifference is no match

for trout (caught or free)
or for the luminous whorl, or
Poetry, regular & white-capped

as a lake.


Nostalgi? / skriven av Ewa Sonnenberg, Team Poland

Rymden solkar naglarna
Det blå flyter bort på ögats skuta
Två dystra kolibrin hälsar med avsked
Natten tagen från munnen
Stjärnorna – tomma lägenheter med slocknade hjärtan
Himlens stålblå fönster stängt med ordets nyckel
Katedralerna – rymdskepp hejdade på vägen
Månens gripande tillförsikt om att solen finns nånstans
Min sol?
Min onda sol
Så förströdd att den glömt knacka på


New Year’s Eve / written by Lucien Stryk, Team Chicago

Seeking no oracles
on mountain tops,
the vagrant shambles
through rough-tumble

of the revelers.
Dodger of gutters, he
plies an art absurd
and desolate. His

quirky lamentation
divides me from myself,
chills the mind to
brittle-heel me by.


Mist on the Daugava / written by Andris Akmentis, Team Latvia

Mist on the Daugava
like a Dutch painting
a skater’s shadow slowly
glides over it

Let go my hand
push off and slide away lightly
most don’t know how to do this
to beautifully let go

What light mist
rays out today
the eyes thaw
and crystal ice is silent

Somewhere can be heard
a little tink
when the heart breaks up

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