The results of the Swift Festival Satire Competition have been announced: The entrants had to write poetry or prose on either: A Tale Of A Tiger: Fat Cats Bring Down The Big Cat or Banks and Bankers: A Modest Proposal. Entries were judged on the basis of satire, irony, absurd humour, acute political insight, grotesque imagination, and lacerating wit - the hallmarks of Swifts best works.
The winner was David Rowell, Churchtown, Dublin; Second prize went to Joe Barry, Kilcock, Co Kildare and third prize went to Kate Smith, St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK.
David Rowell was a prize-winner in the Goldsmith Festival Poetry Competition (2009), the Amergin Poetry Competition (2007), the Golden Pen Poetry Competition (2007) and the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Competition (2006). He has been published in Poetry Ireland Review (2007) and Crannog Magazine (2007). He was chosen by Poetry Ireland to read in their ‘Introductions’ series (2009). He has broadcast pieces on RTE Lyric FM’s ‘Lyric Notes’ and RTE’s ‘Sunday Miscellany’.
The first and third prizewinners wrote poetry. David Rowell wrote very accomplished rhyming couplets with many amusing references to well know events and characters in Irish public life. He also slipped in a neat use of the word symmetry about the Celtic Tigers eyes, referencing Blake's Tyger.
David finishes like this after locating the ailing tiger in the zoo:
What will get her going again she will say
is a well balanced diet with meat every day-
Developers - Monday Wednesday and Sat,
Bankers on alternate days, fancy that.
Weekends? Politicians, you won’t be surprised ,
but only provided they’re well tenderised.
Joe Barry's entry consisted of a conversation between a boy and his father in one of the former prosperous suburbs in south Dublin. The mother is outside growing vegetables in what was the tennis court. Questions such as: So where's all the money gone Dad? and Do the bankers eat steak Dad? elicit subtle comments on our present precarious economic situation. The son's final comment is When I grow up I am going to be a banker. Kate Smith from the UK took the Fat Cats Bring Down The Big Cat topic and cleverly related it to the MPs expenses scandal in the UK. She finishes her poem like this:
The speaker is silenced, the cabinet crumbled
And all because the taxpayers grumbled.
Who will these fat cats next take down?
I guess it will be Gordon Brown.
The follow were shortlisted for the competition:
Stephen Brady, Ashford, Co Wicklow;
Miles Cain, York, UK;
John Clarke, Middlesex, UK;
Maureen Gallagher, Rahoon, Galway
Peter Goulding, Castaheany, Dublin;
Iggy McGovern, Clonskeagh, Dublin;
Jamie Ward, Ballybay, Co Monaghan
The judge for the competition was Ivan Yates chairman and managing director of Celtic Bookmakers and a former Fine Gael politician and government minister. The winner will read his winning entry at the Swift Summer Night in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim on 5th July.