The 2019 Reuben Rose Poetry Competition Presentations Evening
The awards event for the 2019 Reuben Rose competition, which is usually held in May or June of the following year, was, like much of life, put on hold by the Corona virus. We finally held it as a virtual Zoom event on October 27, 2020, together with the awards event for the first Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize.
But every cloud has a silver lining: many more of us than usually manage to travel to a national event could zoom in, including several members from abroad - over 50 people registered and nearly that many attended the event, mainly of course from Israel but also from the UK, the USA and Canada. In a reversal of the usual situation, we even had a proxy reader from Seattle, USA read a poem by an Israeli winner of an Honourable Mention who could not be present.
We heard all about the competition, including a little on its history, from its long-time administrator, Mark Levinson. We were privileged to have messages or comments from all three judges: John Gallas of the UK, last year's first prize winner, who told us in a message how winning and then judging the competition had furthered his poetic career; our own Donna Bechar, winner of last year's second prize, who shared her impressions with us in person; and Katherine Gordon, this year's International Judge, who sent us from Canada a lovely message on the importance of poetry, which all of us could profit from reading. Katherine Gordon's message can be viewed here.
The highlight of the evening was of course the reading of the three winning poems, and the ten that gained an Honourable Mention, by the poets themselves or in a few cases by proxy readers. The texts of all the poems, and audio recordings of the three winners reading their poems, are on the Reuben Rose Winning Poems 2019 page.
We had time at the end for a short Open Mike session, where 14 of our poets each read one of their poems.
Instead of photos from the event, we can only give a few screenshots below, to give the feel of the evening. But video and audio-only recordings of the entire event are on the Voices Israel Google Drive and our indefatigable secretary, Linda Suchy, is distributing a link to the folder containing them to all our members. If you would like the link and didn't get it - do contact Linda! Please note: the video file is very very large and could take over an hour to download - patience is required!
A couple of screenshots of participants
Donna Bechar, one of the judges; Mark Levinson, the competition administrator; and Dr. Judy Belsky (first prize winner), Miriam Webber aka Rumi Morkin (second prize winner) and Jane Seitel (third prize winner), reading the texts of their poems.