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• current 2024 prize winners •


MagNews - international academic journal 

Prize 2024 - £100

a new prize inspired by ideas from the film Oppenheimer,

where science and humanities are seen as essential partners.



In the tiny, hard-fought, magnetic hold and lift,

we switch, to avoid wear and tear.

We generate this part and that, we test and sift,

among motor, wave, toward some goal –

                                     all too often, way over there.

Long hours bent over magnetic Earth's prudent thrift,

few strokes of genius compare

with thorough filtering, as understandings shift...

Unseen, unknown, and little praised –

                                   we carry on, without fanfare.

The race is on to heal the climate threat and rift.

Words are 'combat', 'fight' – like warfare.

Our meek part is to hitch and use what does exist:

the positive and negative,

                                         that stir beneath a nom de guerre.

The myth of one tsar casting axioms adrift,

walking as if on holy air,

is staggeringly far from the full truth of it.

Scarce one discovery results

                                from any games of solitaire.

Would that others might see us, not scientific

but part of a firm whole – foursquare.

Let them think of us more like a swallow, a swift,

darting in summer's evening sky,

                                      soaring, god-filled, a spirit's dare.

For in science there is a spirit, a shape-shift –

old, archaic. Let us beware...

...beyond the study, probes, experiments, and gift,

a meditative mind creates

                                                             fused fuel, changed charge... Sometimes a prayer.

©Anne Sikking, 2024

Glasgow's City of Poets 


a monthly award for 16 lines or fewer, on a set theme.

This was the theme for February 2024



Who of us will be redeemed?

Saved by ourselves from what we've dreamed?

Or, saved by others who may have seemed

cruel at the time...


Redemption needs a long long arc

to wrap its ointment around this heart,

to wash out the stains that from the start

were bequeathed.


No more masquerading, no absolution-chat

nor self-congealed mirage like that.

Instead, take me, as I am, to combat

the past's leavings.


There without rod, staff, or redemption,

there I enter my holy fifth dimension,

break history's fourth wall of tension

and face them down.


We cannot clear or reclaim

anything without a name.

Redemption, I fear is the same,

a shadow, fleeting shot of shame.

©Anne Sikking, 2024

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