1st CHILENO.CO.UK POETRY COMPETITION 2011 To celebrate contemporary Chilean poetry we are pleased to announce the results of the 1st chileno.co.uk poetry competition 2011. You can also view the archived Rules here. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the poetry competition and we would like to thank all of the hundreds of entrants for their hard work creating their poems. The judges had a difficult task in reaching a decision with stiff competition from poets coming from all corners of Chile. Ultimately, a first, second and two third places were awarded, each receiving a copy of la Isla Tuerta: 49 britanicos poetas (1946-2006), by Matías Serra Bradford. In addition, four poems were of sufficient merit to deserve an ‘honourable mention’. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that all entrants should be commended on their efforts and we hope that you will all continue on your journey of literary discovery and we look forward to reading more Chilean poetry in the future! Also look out for our Chilean photography competition.


The Judges

Bristol UniversityThe Judges of this competition were Dr Joanna Crow and Ms Carmen Brauning from the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, in the School of Languages at the University of Bristol. Joanna joined Bristol University in 2006 after completing her PhD at University College London. She has expertise in Latin American literature and history teaching several units at the University including: ‘The Histories of Latin America’s Indigenous Peoples’; ‘The Indian in the Latin American Novel’; ‘Novels, Poetry and Politics in Twentieth-Century Latin America’ and ‘Chilean Culture and Society, 1907-2007’. She has a particular interest in Chile and has recently published several articles in academic journals including:

‘Negotiating Inclusion in the Nation: Mapuche Intellectuals and the Chilean State’, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 5: 2 (July 2010), pp. 131-15.doi:10.1080/17442221003787084 (use this to resolve the doi). This paper analyses how three important and different indigenious Chilean intellectuals influenced the narrative history of Chile and the Chilean state; confronting it but also participating in it as part of their struggle for equality. Carmen is a lecturer at the Department teaching all aspects of Spanish language. She also lectures on contemporary Spanish poetry. Carmen also acts as a Pedagogical Consultant to Puerta del Sol, Spanish Language audio magazine and a language Consultant to the computer-based language program ‘Caminos a la expresividad’. We would like to thank Carmen and Joanna for their invaluable expertise and time in judging the entries for the competition.

First Place
First Place: María Elena Valenzuela Romero. Most recently María won first place in the “Juan Soto Pereira” poetry competition (ALIRE), Chile 2010.
Maria Valenzuela

On winning María Elena said: Sé que el éxito es bueno, sin embargo, el concepto del amor es lo más sublime que he podido descubrir entre las bellezas de la tierra, no sin antes expresar que lo lindo y protector de nuestro planeta, por amor, tendrá que seguir siendo una de nuestras más altas prioridades. Por este sencillo, pero gran motivo, me he atrevido a formular el poema, con calidad de urgente, que lleva como título “Este planeta”, lo que constituye nuestra bella casa donde vivimos, todos los seres humanos.

Este Planeta

by María Elena Valenzuela Romero

Desde el fondo de la tierra
un llanto de mineral y piedra
emerge como furtiva lágrima.
Los siglos han pasado indiferentes a tanto dolor.
La enfermedad hombre no tiene remedio
es una dolencia que invade y destroza
el cuerpo de este planeta.

No hay palabras que magnifiquen el daño.
Gea agoniza, lentamente
su piel otrora radiante y saludable
envejece con premura.

Sus pupilas, espejos de aguas puras,
no la dejan mirar a través de la contaminación,
la ciegan y no distingue la noche del día.
Este planeta está enfermo de muerte,
no existe el médico que diagnostique lo contrario
o que pueda reparar esta lesión terrible.

El virus hombre sigue su curso de destrucción
y no se encuentra la vacuna necesaria para
enfrentar a este mortal parásito.
La Pachamama se sacude, lanza un alarido de dolor,
escupe por sus volcanes abiertos,
llagas incandescentes que no van a cicatrizar jamás.

Gea, está enferma, su flora y fauna desaparecen
paulatina e inexorablemente de su bella faz.
Su sangre salobre se contamina sin censura
y su atmósfera antes benéfica,
debilitada por contaminantes y letales gases
que ahora deja pasar rayos destructores
sin protección a su lozana piel.

Desde el útero del magma
un llanto explota difícil de consolar.
Un llanto mineral y piedra
emerge con fuerza cósmica
y el virus hombre, impávido de poder y gloria
no quiere detenerse y oír
este llamado final.

English Translation (by chileno.co.uk and author)

From the depths of the earth

a cry of mineral and stone
emerges like a furtive tear.
Centuries have passed indifferent to so much pain.
The human disease has no cure
it is a disease that invades and destroys
the body of this planet.

There are no words that can show the extent of the damage.
Gaia dying slowly
her skin once radiant and healthy
is aging prematurely.

Her eyes, mirrors of pure water,
do not let her look through pollution
it blinds her and she cannot distinguish night from day.
This planet is terminally ill,
there is no doctor who can diagnose otherwise
or can repair this terrible wound.

The human virus runs its course of destruction
and no vaccine is available to
face this deadly parasite.
Mother Earth shakes, throws out a scream of pain,
She spits through her open volcanoes
incandescent sores that will never heal.

Gaia is ill, her flora and fauna disappear
slowly and inexorably from her beautiful face.
Her brackish blood is endlessly contaminated
and her once benevolent atmosphere,
weakened by pollutants and lethal gases
now allows the destructive rays to pass through
without protection for her fair skin.

From the womb of magma
a cry explodes difficult to console.
A cry of mineral and stone
with cosmic force
and the human virus, fearless of power and glory
does not want to stop and hear
this final call.

We thought this was a very powerful and evocative poem, on an important topic. We were particularly impressed with the choice of words, many of which were related to nature and the human body (thereby linking them both, the destruction of the planet portrayed like a sick human being) – e.g. we liked the fact that mankind was described as a virus. We liked the strong images, especially of the pachamama. We thought it was cleverly constructed. It flows smoothly, developing slowly but surely. We sense the impending tragedy and destruction – which is forced upon us in the brevity of the last stanza.

The Judges

Second Place
Second Place:
Juan Olivares Hermosilla
Juan Olivares Hermosilla

Antes que nada quisiera agradecer la oportunidad que me brindaron para participar en el concurso que Ustedes representan. Fue muy grato recibir su noticia de haber sido premiado con un lugar en el concurso de Poesía, esto me motiva, mi incentiva de poder seguir escribiendomis poemas de las locas vivencias de la vida. Desde ya muy agradecido.

Un Ex Amigo

by Juan Olivares Hermosilla

Ya no quedan más palabras
sino destellos de miradas,
ya distante por el tiempo
ni señales de un parlamento.

Un amigo, muy amigo
de los de abrazos y apretones,
de los de asuetos y malones,
ante todo siempre amigo.

No hay problemas esta mi amigo,
en su casa, en mi casa,
su familia, mi familia
todos juntos en un buen abrigo.

Tantas fiestas y siempre pares,
en afables ágapes,
de asados y buenos tintos
en el patio o en el campo
y de amigos a compadres.

En aflicciones y problemas,
una mano otra mano,
sin modestia y con franqueza
un atisbo que se va.

Un sombrío panorama
todo cambia, descontento
y la confianza sin sustento,
de avenencia a desavenencia
de un amigo a un ex amigo

De palabras a compromisos
Felonías – felonías
y la confianza y lealtad
destruida – destruida.

Ya no quedan más palabras
sino destellos de miradas,
ya distante por el tiempo
ni señales de un parlamento.

Un amigo es como un buen vino,
de cuidado y protegido,
solo el tiempo

en el tiempo

te dirá…………. si es solo un conocido.

English Translation (by chileno.co.uk and author)

There are no words left
but glimpses of glances
distant in time
without signs of a speech

A friend, a good friend
of hugs and handshakes,
in times of leisure and when under siege,
above all, always a friend.

There are no problems, here is my friend,
at his house, at my house,
his family, my family
All together under one roof.

So many parties and always in pairs
in affable banquets,
roasts and good reds
on the patio or in the fields
and from friends to best friends.

In tribulations and problems,
one hand another hand,
without modesty and with frankness
a fleeting suspicion.

A grim picture
everything changes, dissatisfaction
and confidence without support,
from compromise to disagreement
from a friend to a former friend

From words to commitments
treachery -treachery
and trust and loyalty
destroyed – destroyed.

There are no words left
but glimpses of glances
distant in time
without signs of a speech

A friend is like a fine wine,
cared for and protected
only time
in time
will tell …………. if he is just an acquaintance.

What appealed to us about this poem was the way in which it starts off quite lightly, with a positive feel, and then changes, becoming progressively darker. It reflects well how a relationship can become sour and eventually break down. We were impressed with the writer’s ability to synthesize, and communicate such a message in relatively few words.

The Judges

Third Place
Joint Third Place:
Elizabeth Villegas
Elizabeth Villegas

Me encuentro muy feliz de haber obtenido esta mención porque mi poema refleja el dolor de muchas familias en Chile que han perdido a sus seres queridos en el mar de nuestro pais, un mar hermoso, pero a la vez muy caprichoso, muchas gracias.

Mar Porque?

by Elizabeth Villegas

Mar porque?
Siempre me he preguntado porque?

Porque el mar no devuelve los cuerpos de algunas personas

en especial los cuerpos de los niños

esos angelitos que vienen a este mundo devastado para entregar

su amor y risas, porque mar? te encantan los niños como a nosotros

no puedes resistirte a su pureza, quieres escuchar sus risas por toda la eternidad

no podemos culparte por querer tenerlos, tu que ves muchas maravillas

perlas y demases no se comparan con ese tesoro

esas manos pequeñitas que te abrazan como nadie

esos labios pequeños que te besan como nadie

pero haces daño, que piensas cuando ves ese rostro que te mira

implorándote que le devuelvas lo que tu tienes

que piensas cuando esas lágrimas van dirigidas a ti

eres travieso o eres egoísta? eres poderoso

eres bello, pero a la vez horroroso, para algunos eres el demonio

para otros eres la paz que entrega un ángel, dime eres ángel o demonio?

que nombre tan pequeño para algo tan grande, es que acaso hay vida allá en tus entrañas, acaso es verdad como un cuento de hadas o una leyenda que hay vida, acaso solo los dignos son capaces de entrar en aquella ciudad perdida, permíteles entrar a aquellas personas que darían lo que fueran, que darían el ultimo de sus latidos por ver esas sonrisas que tu te has dejado, por escuchar una vez mas esas voces que tu haz apagado, eres símbolo de majestuosidad, si todos somos pequeños ante ti, pero es necesario que lo demuestres a cada momento, aunque eres asesino por naturaleza a todos nos gusta admirarte, que ilógico, pero que simple cerramos los ojos y sentimos tu aroma, asesino por naturaleza entregas paz a quien la busca, ángel endemoniado que seduces a todos con la bravura de tus olas, ejércitos de cangrejos y ballenas, si eres invencible, he aquí tus súbditos, he aquí tus humildes admiradores, lloramos, nos enamoramos, eres testigo mudo de miles de sentimientos, nos castigas? Irrumpes con tu brazos en ciudades, te llevas cuanto encuentras y después lo botas porque? Que quieres demostrar, pero no devuelves lo que todo el mundo quiere, eso te lo dejas para ti, porque un tesoro así no lo podrás tener tan fácil, cuida a tus tesoros, porque cuando no te des cuenta, una estrella fugaz volara hasta el cielo, para despojarte de aquello de lo que te has adueñado.

Dedicado a todos los que el mar jamás ha regresado en Chile y el mundo…

English Translation (by chileno.co.uk and author)

why sea?

I’ve always wondered why

Why doesn’t the sea return the bodies of some people

especially children’s bodies

those angels who come to this devastated world to give

love and laughter, why sea? you love the children like we do

you cannot resist their purity, you want to hear their laughter for all eternity

We cannot blame you for wanting them, you see many wonders

like pearls and other things that do not compare with that treasure

those little hands that hug you like no other

those little lips that kiss you like no other

but you cause damage, what do you think when you see that face looking at you

imploring you to return what you have taken

what do you think when those tears are directed to you

are you naughty or are you selfish? you are powerful

you are beautiful, yet horrifying, for some you are the devil

for others you are the peace that an angel gives, tell me, are you an angel or devil?

What a small name for something so great, is there yet life in your innards, is it true that it is like a fairy tale or a legend that comes to life, perhaps only the worthy are able to get in to that lost city, let them enter those who would give anything, those who would give their last heart beat to see those smiles that you have left, to listen once more to those voices that you have drowned out, you are a symbol of majesty, yes we are all small before you, but you need to prove it every time, although you are a murderer by nature we all like to admire you, how illogical, yet how easily we always close our eyes to sense your scent, a murderer by nature who delivers peace to those who seek it, demonic angel who seduces all with the power of your waves, armies of crabs and whales, if you are invincible, here are your subjects, behold your humble admirers, we cried, we fell in love, you are mute witness to thousands of feelings, do you punish us? You barge into cities with your arms, taking with you whatever you find and later you dump it, why? what do you want to demonstrate, but not return what everybody wants, you keep that to yourself, because a treasure like that you will not be able to obtain so easily, look after your treasures, because when it is least expected, a shooting star will fly to heaven to take back everything that you have claimed as your own.

Dedicated to all those the sea has never returned to Chile and the world …

We liked the change in rhythm of ‘Mar Porque’, i.e. how the second part, which focuses more on the sea than the children lost to it, becomes more intense, and more aggressive. We get a real sense of the strength and power of the sea. It reads like a wave rushing towards us and destroying everything in its path. Thus, both in its choices of words and in its rhythm, it evokes really well the recent tsunami in Chile

The Judges

Third Place
Joint Third Place:
Manuel Garjado Ahumada
Manuel Gajardo

Agradezco la oportunidad de haber participado en el concurso, me alegra y me impresiona que haya sacado un lugar, escribo desde hace 4 meses y me anima mucho más a seguir escribiendo. El poema tiene como título “Seres llenos de seres” es una frase de un poema de Pablo de Rokha, el cual es uno de mis poetas predilectos. Mis planes son darme a conocer más, para tener nuevas experiencias y expectativas para futuros trabajos.

Seres llenos de seres

by Manuel Garjado Ahumada

Ahogado con el olor ahumado de un mundo acabado

Veo una naturaleza muerta, atrapada dentro de una luz pálida

Polillas volando en el humo, que se ha convertido en el aire para respirar

Babosas que buscan conchas de caracol para comerse su miedo de ser vistas vestidas y húmedas

Garrapatas que saltan hacia el infinito de sus vidas para no ser devoradas por cucarachas gigantes

Moscas odiosas, rompiendo el silencio muerto que permanece acá

Arañas que no atrapan a nadie ni nada pero que nos cubren con telarañas tejidas con oscuridad

Ratones que atacan como perros deprimidos y huyen como gatos abandonados

Aquí las serpientes venenosas son gusanos que pudren la sangre con su cuerpo purulento

Y los árboles, secos, crecen, enraizando sus ramas en el cielo contaminado

Todos sentimos calor, como un dolor volcánico que se derrite en la piel del corazón

Puede que seamos seres dentro de otro animal fallecido

Todos tenemos cáncer, como un cangrejo que nos apreta para no gritar el rencor del odio absoluto

Nunca me había sentido mas muerto, en este lugar irreparable.

English Translation (by chileno.co.uk and author)

Choking with the smoky smell of a finite world

I see a still life, trapped inside a pale light

Moths flying in the smoke, that has become the air to breathe

Slugs searching for snail shells to eat their fear of being seen dressed and wet

Ticks jump into the infinity of their lives to avoid being eaten by giant cockroaches

Hateful flies, breaking the dead silence that remains here

Spiders do not catch anyone or anything but cover us with dark spun webs

Mice that attack like depressed dogs and run away like stray cats

Here the poisonous snakes are worms that rot the blood with their purulent bodies

And the trees, dry, growing, rooting their branches in the polluted sky

All feel heat, like a volcanic pain that melts into the skin of the heart

It might be that we are beings inside another dead animal

We all have cancer, like a crab that pinched us to not shout the absolute bitterness of hatred

I have never felt more dead in this irreparable place.

We enjoyed Seres llenos de seres by Manuel Garjado – it was different, very visual, with strong imagery.

The Judges

Comment below on the poems or why not reply with a short poem of your own!

Honourable mention:

Diego Galaz

Marcelo Mallea Hernández

Daniela Samson Leal

Paz Tobar


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