Dust storm inspires poetry win

WHEN last month's dust storm swept through, the seeds of a poem - creative and otherwise - blew Jennie Dell's way, inspiring the poem Dust, which won her the inaugural Geraldine Cup at the Lismore Poetry Cup competition at the Rous Hotel on Wednesday.

Ms Dell said she felt privileged to be associated with the Geraldine Cup, named after the late Lismore artist and poet Geraldine Bigelow, who this year died from breast cancer.

The winner of the Lismore Poetry Cup was past winner Jane Treasure, from Nimbin, who impressed judges with her poem about a mink jacket. Len Martin took out the People's Choice Award.

Ms Dell, disqualified from the main poetry prize for exceeding the two-minute time limit by six seconds, said the liberal criteria of the Geraldine Cup meant she was in with a chance.

“Time limits didn't matter. Geraldine was a free thinker,” laughed Ms Dell.

Her poem, which begins 'Whose was that farm that flew past me last night?' was inspired by her close inspection of dust that settled after the September storm.

“When we ran our fingers through the dust we could definitely see tiny seeds. It got me thinking about the land that was much loved by those who seek out a living from those seeds,” Ms Dell said.

The Poetry Cup, now in its 18th year, has been won by some of the region's top writers, such as Christine Strelan, Catherine Stewart, Laurie Axtens and Robyn Scott.

Poetry lovers can also get their fix this Saturday at the North Coast National under the Cock and Bull Tent at 11am.

Jennie Dell's poem will be published this Saturday in The Northern Star's Coast to Country section.

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