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Poetry at the Pier

The Inaugural Christos Poetry Prize

The inaugural Christos Poetry Prizes, run by Lorne P-12 College were awarded for single poems written by both primary and secondary students, and judged this year by the local writer Greg Day and a group of teachers. The prize is inspired by the legacy of our poet and friend Christos Raskatos, who ran Lorne Fisheries in his flamboyant, generous and poetic style for so many years. Each week Chris would compose a new poem and write it in chalk on the blackboards in front of the co-op at the pier. The poems would chronicle daily events and people in Lorne, political events, sporting triumphs, the passing away of loved community members and the birth of new ones. The poems would often celebrate the beauty of Lorne itself and often with a strident dash of exuberant humour.

Christos was of Greek-Macedonian origin and saw our local world through the heroic lens of the Ancient Greek Gods. Everyone’s life was important, no battle was too small or insignificant to fight, and he often placed the most humble community members on a footing with the gods. He acknowledged the private depth, difficulty and beauty of our inner lives as well as the often wild comedy of public life, whilst dissolving the gap between the two. He wrote with great freedom and insight, in both tragic and comic modes, to weave a compelling web of metaphor, fable and wisdom which enriched our local lives.

It was a glorious winter morning with sun shining above a glassy Loutit Bay on the grassy field above the old Fish Co-op. The selected VCE students read out each winning poem with mixture of passion, reverence and humour. So many in our school and town community expressed a sense of joy and awe in hearing each poem. Greg Day, a good friend of Christos, in his speech describing the power of poetry, adapted a quote from Kafka, “A poem should be the axe that breaks the frozen heart”. These poems certainly have that power.

The Secondary Division winners were: 1st – Juna Hack, 2nd – Milly Smith and 3rd – Mary-Lou Hylands.

The Primary Division winners were: 1st – Murphy Eagle, 2nd – Levi Crosbie and 3rd – Dusty Lane

 

 

Poetry pic 2

 

 

 
 

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