Poetry NZ Yearbook Student Poetry Competition 2021

By Esther Kristel | Posted: Friday September 3, 2021

New Zealand students in Years 11, 12, and 13 can enter the Poetry NZ Yearbook Student Poetry Competition annually, with winners announced each year on National Poetry Day. Logan Park is thrilled to celebrate with Year 12 student Shima Jack on her placing this year.

Shima’s piece, Develop and Structure Ideas Effectively in Creative Writing, was described by the judge as being of an “extremely inventive form, used to potent ends to generate intensity & impact”. She has certainly exposed the tensions that exist between the creative force and standards based assessment that is often difficult to grapple with on both sides of the assessment schedule. This astute and powerful poem is just a sample of Shima’s innovative and inspired repertoire.

Shima is also founder and chief editor of CANDID: “a safe, anonymous platform for writers from first-timers (welcome!) to veterans to share stories and thoughts without fear of criticism or self-consciousness. The main focus of CANDID is to produce art for art’s sake - there are no winners or losers here.” CANDID has made a very welcome appearance on the Logan Park writing scene and clearly shows the passion, innovation, and heart that drives this student-led initiative.

All the winning entries from the 2021 Poetry New Zealand Student Poetry Competition can be read at: https://issuu.com/masseypress/docs/pnzy_competition_poems_2021

And now for Shima’s poem

Develop and Structure Ideas Effectively in Creative Writing


I was three years old when I wrote

my first poem

I don’t remember it, only Dream geese, dark avian formation, over silent black water

plip of pale pebble dropping disturbance

into the still lake, ripples rolling outwards - like arpeggio,

palaeo, all children know

Achievement with Merit

I was nine years old when I won my first writing competition Expression, examination congratulations! We have decided your thoughts are beautiful, here is

80 bucks in vouchers, I wrote about freedom

Liquid night, jellyfish flight,

warm yet shiver beneath bloodless sun

Achievement with Excellence

Now within my stupid carvernous head the wet skin weight of


curls like a cat brittle-boned but still I have so much to give, my rabbit thoughts are not beautiful? they are creature vs criteria, they

have bloody matted fur, they fight and hide and multiply - hunger for that mind - heart coordination I have too much to give, a roaring blue tide of root and seed, torn and healed, ghosts and gorging greed, my!

canine candid and my tentacle devotion, my bearded dragon bluff, because I’m still learning to process the bitter taste of no, to

digest the daily dish of broccoli love, I am mud-creature trying to climb! life’s lonely ebb-and-flow eroding the bank below my dirty paws, my voracious velociraptor of gnawing regrets clothes left upon the floor

and empathy untamed,


I was sixteen when I learnt about structure