The 2020 Reuben Rose Poetry Competition Awards Event
After the great delay due to Corona in staging the awards event for the previous Reuben Rose competition, which was not held until October 2020, this year we decided to hold the 2020 awards event in May as usual. Like last year, it was held via Zoom and together with the awards event for the Bar Sagi Young Poets Prize. And like last year, it was attended by many more of our members than can travel to a national event in Israel, including members from the UK, the USA and Canada, and friends of the winners of prizes and Honorable Mentions from Israel and abroad.
Fifty-seven people arrived for the start of the event, and most stayed right through to the end, including the Open Mike.
As usual, the competition's administrator, Mark Levinson, gave us the facts and figures on this year's entries, which were up from last year's: a little over 300 poems were submitted. We were privileged to have with us all three judges, who all gave us useful comments: Kay Kim Richards of California, USA, our overseas judge, who noted the large number and high quality of the poems submitted; Miriam Webber of Israel, last year's Reuben Rose second prize winner, who provided comments on judging the competition in verse; and David Silverman of Illinois, USA, one of last year's Reuben Rose Honorable Mention winners, who noted how much he felt he gained from judging the competition.
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 (even via Zoom, it's too hard to attend from Australia when the event takes place at 4 am local time!). The texts of all the poems, and audio recordings of the first two winners reading their poems, are on the Reuben Rose Winning Poems 2020 page.
We just had time at the end for a short Open Mike session, where 11 of our poets each read one of their poems.
We recorded the event via Zoom - both a full video and an audio-only recording - and have uploaded the videos to the Voices Israel YouTube channel which our secretary Linda Suchy set up for us - thank you Linda!
Instead of photos from the event, we can only give a few screenshots below, to give the feel of the evening.
A couple of screenshots of participants
A few participants: from left to right:
Judge David Silverman; first prize winner Ricky Friesem reading her poem;
Wendy Blumfield from Israel and Anne McCrady from the USA reading at the Open Mike