Tag Archives: sentinel literary quarterly poetry competition

SLQ Daily, 30 September 2020

Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2020)

Roger Elkin, Judge

The SLQ Poetry Competition this quarter to be judged by Roger Elkin will close on 31st October. The Early Bird Promotion offering 15% Off Entry Fees must end at midnight 30th September.

We are expecting a strong contest having already logged 250 entries from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, China, France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands, Spain and Malta. Get your entry in today and let’s see about prizing it.

Prize Fund £535.00

Learn more about the competition and enter now >>>

Gap Year by John Foggin and Andy Blackford, SPM Publications, Poetry

Ukamaka Olisakwe, Monday Writer, 28 September 2020

The Sentinel Literary Quarterly Monday Writer this week is Nigerian essayist, poet and novelist Ukamaka Olisakwe. She is the author of Eyes of a Goddess and Ogadinma – a novel published in September 2020. Learn about the author, read the Monday Writer Interview, Ukamaka Olisakwe in conversation with Nnorom Azuonye. There is also a short excerpt from Ogadinma and ‘Girl to Woman’ her short story first published in Sentinel Nigeria in May 2011. This is Ukamaka Olisakwe, SLQ Monday Writer>>>

Read of the Day

Starvation 1945

A woman scoops tea from the week’s ration
into the prewarmed pot as her mother taught her,
settles herself with the morning paper.

Grey bodies strew the page in random heaps:
somewhere in Germany she’s never heard of,
bare ground, black trees. And bodies.

The picture brings to mind that morning after
a Blitz night, when she walked down Regent’s Street,
shopfronts blasted out and mannequins

scattered across the street awkwardly splayed,
and much too thin for life. She turns the page,
sipping her tea. Best not to look too close.

Her daughter leans across the table:
we’re running low on butter coupons.

‘Starvation 1945’ by A.C. Clarke was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.

Blast from the Past


We stayed the night,
and left as chilly dawn
broke a pale yoke above
an empty car-park.
Groups of birds flapped in trees,
like strips of black sky
torn by barbed branches.
A week into Spring,
and now its starting to snow;
perhaps the years heard your news,
gone mad –
shuffled its seasons
to end in May.

‘Diagnosed’ by Chris Major was first published in Sentinel Poetry (Online) magazine in September 2003.

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End of Mass


The long thin priest raises his hand in
dismissive blessing. His vestments glitter

green and gold, that insect sheen
which dizzies me with thoughts of summer’s

unforgiveness. The memory of incense
weighs down the cloistered air.

Along the walls Christ burdened by his cross
enacts the suffering I’ve caused.

Confession boxes wait near candles
spiked through the gut. Bless me father

for I am damned. We file out like
a funeral cortege. Saints follow us

with sightless eyes. I step into the light
near-blinded, breathe the scent of rain.

‘End of Mass’ by A. C. Clarke was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 2020) judged by Terry Jones.

Considering the Elephant


Do not be taken in by our lugubrious appearance,
an apparent lack of get-up-and-go,
our certain want of brio.
No — do not be misled
by the ponderous pendulum of each leg,
deceived by the humph and schlep
of the single loaded step,
the hulk, the mass to move from walk
to run (a biomechanical joke),
the effort to shift the feet to haste
with not so much as one complete aerial phase.

Something is happening though you don’t see it yet.
You want, too, for our slow, fateful gait,
the repeated lumbering metres of grey,
nondescript days and days like these.
It’s in the bone, the habit, this mind of our own
to know we know what you can’t know:
within the kinetic heart, ceaseless
change: how all is time, all is flow.

‘Considering the Elephant’ by Michael Brown won third prize in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (July 202) judged by Terry Jones.