2017 “Three-Score-and-Ten” Poetry Competition Finalists

The finalists of the 2017 “Three-Score-and-Ten” Poetry Competition:
L-R Front row: Robin Malan, Geoffrey Haresnape, John Cartwright (overall winner), Jeni Cole, Hazel Shaul, Linda Zinzi Seally
Back row: Chris Dodson, Ekin Kench, Brigitte Murphy, Finuala Dowling who judged the competition, Val Parry, Chip Wood, Effie Joffe, Keith Edwards. Not present: Adre Marshall

Submissions for fourth annual “Three-Score-and-Ten” poetry competition of a particularly high standard.

The winning entries of the 2017 “Three Score and Ten” poetry competition were announced at a function at The St James Retirement Hotel last week. John Cartwright’s poem “I have destroyed” took first place.

The competition is open to the “over 70 community” in Cape Town. Response over the four years of the competition has been excellent” says Gael Baldwin, Managing Director of The St James Retirement Hotel. “Our senior citizens, with their lifetime of experience and insight are so often side-lined in the hurly-burley of 21st century life.”

“Submissions for the 2017 Three-Score-and-Ten poetry competition were of a particularly high standard”, says Finuala Dowling, False Bay resident and international award-winning author and poet who has judged entries since the inception of the competition four years ago. “I was so impressed by the top poems: they were outstanding, of publishable, international quality. The best poems came from poets who are themselves great readers and champions of poetry — it’s not enough just to want to write: to write is to read.

Eighty-eight poems were submitted, and though inevitably many of them dealt with themes of ageing and dying, there were also poems about the environment, about insomnia, sex and dual nationality. I loved the range of different voices, as well as the range of techniques and styles: creativity is definitely alive and well in writers over seventy.”

The winning entries for 2017 as well as those from previous years can be viewed on
The St James website: www.stjameshotel.co.za/poetry