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Given Words 'The Spanish Connection'

01 Aug 2018
Poetry competition for National Poetry Day 2018

Written by

Charles Olsen
May 14, 2023

What would you write if I gave you five words? The Given Words poetry competition returns for the third year running with a new challenge for New Zealand's Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2018.

This year the New Zealand poet Charles Olsen, who was recently awarded the III Poetry Award SxS Antonio Machado in Spain, has chosen five words from his translation of one of Spanish poet Antonio Machado's poems, The Hospice. To participate you have to write a poem including all five words and send it in before midnight on 24 August, National Poetry Day.

The Given Words competition is free to enter and is open to all New Zealand citizens. Prizes will be awarded for the Best Poem and Best Poem by Under-16s. The winner of Best Poem will receive a copy of the New Zealand Poetry Yearbook 2018, courtesy of Massey University Press and the winner of the Under-16 category will receive a copy of Slice of Heaven by Des O'Leary (due out in September) courtesy of Mākaro Press. The winning poems will also be translated into Spanish.

You will find the five words and full details of how to participate in where you can also read entries from previous editions. For teachers there is a creative lesson plan available to inspire pupils.

Charles Olsen, who will also judge the entries, says: ‘It is fun to see how the same five words can inspire such a diverse range of poems. Take the words for a walk, mull them over and see what they say to you. I look forward to reading all the entries!’
Given Words Event on Facebook