Edward Lear Poetry Award At The Owl And Pussycat

Published : 12:06 pm  February 4, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Untitled-1The Edward Lear Poetry Award Ceremony took place for the second consecutive time at the Owl and Pussycat Hotel in Thalpe on the 26th of January 2018. The Award, set to be presented annually up to 10 years, is given to young poets between the ages of 10 to 30. 
Founders of the Award, Reita Gadkhari and Shane Thantirimudalige started this Award last year hoping to encourage upcoming poets to showcase their talents. 

“We like to see youngsters have the opportunity to present their talent” said Shane, “and our prize for the winner is quite large which we hope will give them the kick start they need.”

The winner of the poetry award will receive Rs. 250,000 while the 2nd runner up will receive Rs.150,000 and the 3rd runner up Rs.75,000. 

This year’s judges included Aftab Jafferjee as Chair Judge, Jane Kramer, Dilhani Thantirimudalige, Gehan Talwatte and Grace Wickremasinghe. The judges shortlisted 5 poems from 40 applications; The Walrus and the Elephant by Shanika Ratnayake, The Insatiable Ceylonese Girl by Ayesha Ratnayake, A Little Boy and his Books by Shaahima Raashid, The Sri Lankan Owl and Pussycat by Sakuni Cooray and The Little Giant by Khadeejah Samsudeen. 

The winner of the Award was Khadeejah Samsudeen for her poem ‘The Little Giant’. Speaking to us after her win, she told us what inspired her to write the poem. “I’m an avid reader and I wanted to portray how a child’s imagination can take them to another place.”
Walking away with second and third places were Shaahima Raashid for ‘A Little Boy and his Books’ and Sakuni Cooray for ‘The Sri Lankan Owl and Pussycat’ respectively.  Some of the poets were not present so we spoke to other shortlisted poets. 

“This is my first poem” says writer of ‘The Walrus and the Elephant’ Shanika Ratnayake, “the poem is inspired by my dreams.”  Speaking for her sister who wrote ‘The Insatiable Ceylonese Girl’, Shanika tells us that the poem describes ‘every Sri Lankan girl’.