2014 Creatrix Prize Winners


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2014 Creatrix Poetry/Haiku Prizes selected from Issue 22 to Issue 25.

Thank you to Sunline Press, Fremantle Press, Crow Books, Mulla Mulla Press and Tantamount Press for donating the prizes.
Thank you to all the poets who contributed and to Peter Jeffery OAM, Alexis Lateef & Zan Ross for judging the Poetry Prize and Amanda Joy, Gary De Piazzi, Meryl Manoy & Rose van Son for judging the Haiku Prize.


Creatrix Poetry Prizes

First Prize – Jan Napier

Turned On

Second Prize – Fran Graham

Tour De France

Third Prize – Tash Adams

She’s Designer

Highly Commended – Sue Clennell


Highly Commended – Deeksha Koul

Letter To Merwin

Highly Commended – Chris Palazzolo


Highly Commended – Mardi May

Between Poems


Creatrix Haiku Prize Winners

First Prize – Matt Hetherington

over the spiral notebook
a caterpillar

Second Prize – Tash Adams

morning service
movement of hands
at the coffee machine

Third Prize – Kashinath Karmakar

mountain path –
at every turn
a new moon

Highly Commended – Jennifer Sutherland

by tank light            all the tiny seahorses

Highly Commended – Jayashree Maniyil

autumn leaf —
the lightness
of her swaying hips


Creatrix Poetry Prize Winners

First Prize

Judges’ Comments: Turned On by Jan Napier was seen as highly original with its ingenious use of the everyday mundane chore of domestic ironing  transformed into a sensual daydream.
A delight to read and to hear with Jan reciting the transformation of your laundry into the heat drenched boudoir of your wildest thoughts.

Turned On
(an ode to ironing)

Steamy and mysterious     a relationship tropical as the Congo
connection   galvanic and sudden as stepping on an electric eel.
You know how it is     a pile of crumpled clothes
the heat between us      me stroking your back
you quiescent    permitting me to press my suit
rhythm a therapy that helps straighten out material concerns.
Our accord allows us to damp down any potential hotspots
get things straightened out.
Familiar as we are with each other’s foibles
I know which buttons to press to make you spit and hiss
like King Cobras      know that if left alone too long
your temperature rises and I’ll return to a skirt
scorched as Saharan sands.
I press you to my breast    relax those arthritic legs.
Rest now   relive porn star reveries but never dream of leaving.
Witches cannot abide cold iron and I would be such a mess
without you.

Jan Napier

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Second Prize

Judges’ Comments: Tour de France by Fran Graham with its sinuous peloton viewed night after night on SBS impressed for its calligraphy as much as its content, with its ever-unwinding, slithering rainbow ribbon of colour, much like Alice’s Tale of a Mouse’s Tail.

Tour de France

The peloton, a multi-coloured ribbon,
surges across the landscape,
riders’ concentration set
hard as their saddles,
their movement,
fluid as a fish’s tail.
Country coded,
muscle primed and flying,
they transform their fatigue
into ripped determination.
It propels them
across soft velvet folds
of meadow and hillside,
a swaying paintbox.
Occasionally a spill
disfigures the canvas
but mechanically they reform
and flow on like textile,
a sarong wrapping the road,
a pulsating tapestry.
Then holes appear
and the fabric begins to unravel
in the sprint for the line
where heads lift
and pumped fists telegraph victory.

Fran Graham

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Third Prize

Judges’ Comments: She’s Designer by Tash Adams visits the Third World and its cottage industries of garment-making that brings the East to the West all to the bidding of an ingenious world class designer whose origins were equally humble to those that work to her design.

she’s designer
people make the clothes; clothes do
not make a person – Zhang Nah

pull back the bamboo curtain
she holds scissors like shears
to the throat
of the mannequin

rips stitches
to remove an olive collar
hitches up a hem
frays a cuff

left over fabric for a belt
she sews late into the night
on grandmother’s machine

her lamp casts yellow light
through wafts of smoke
cigarette burning
in the ashtray

from the cushion
on her wrist
she plucks a pin
with her teeth
East no longer looks West
Fashion Week over
her up-cycled clothes sell
to help rural women

her designs stitch
a future to the past
she won’t forget where
she’s come from

red heart beats strong
she‘s designer
rainbows of ribbons
butterflies on strings

Tash Adams

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Highly Commended

Judges’ Comments: Elegy by Sue Clennell is epigrammatic but savage in its conclusion as the visiting of inappropriate death on innocent children, dead without the proper season.


Next door’s hen went to the corner
of the fence to die.
Cats and dogs slink under the house.
But children die everywhere,
the Sudan, Syria, Nigeria.

Sue Clennell

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Highly Commended

Judges’ Comments: Australia by Chris Palazzolo uses the anxious scrutiny of bringing binoculars into focus by an equally anxious boat person assured by the blue of waves but fearful of a possible grey prow.


Pull the two blue discs to focus –
churning flecks of foam
and sky.
It’s not the smell of diesel and sea air
that’s driving him mad. Not the sun
boiling the blisters in his skin. Not the sput-sput
engine or the parching waves thumping
the hull every second after second after second.
Even the memory of that brute counting
his father’s cash has lost its rage. Only Australia,
invisible in that iris of lurching sea, fills him
with futility – without him they’re blind,
but when he hears the children crying
in the hold, and thinks of safe classrooms,
his weeping eyes scream at the touch of binoculars.
Pull the two blue discs to focus –
churning flecks of foam
and sky.
Watching for a grey prow.

Chris Palazzolo

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Highly Commended

Judges’ Comments: Letter to merwin by Deeksha Koul talks of the fragility of love and relationship as being ever flawed, a vase ever shattering and never finding fulfillment.

letter to merwin

 surely I know this becoming
the vase is already shattered
why am I always so surprised
it is written on everything
bells that toll along the river
sighing grief of this rain
air wet and your skin warm
in the deepening evening
oil burning in our lamp
your eyes
the smoke and the shore
it is written on everything
how many times I have emptied the ashtray
in worn silence following drowsy goodbyes
my pale reflection in the long mirror
we were talking while the flowers slept
surely I know this becoming
the vase is already shattered
why am I always so surprised

Deeksha Koul

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Highly Commended

Judges’ Comments: Between Poems by Mardi May is a wonderful end piece for a poetry selection and is concerned with feast and famine, the abundance and drought of poetic inspiration.

Between Poems

In the calm between poems
the poet trawls through
the journal of lost words;
reels in a line left dangling,
lure for a thought in the ebb
and flow of a rhythmic sea.

And then,
///////////the tidal wave.

In a dry spell between poems
the poet searches the sky for
a coalescence of cloud,
for that flash of lightning,
a random fall of summer rain;
the ‘if’ and ‘when’ of drought;

And then,
///////////the storm breaks.

Mardi May

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