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Student poetry contest

Concordia Library launched a Poetry Contest on the theme of Library in celebration of the completion of Phase 2 of the Webster Library Transformation.

The contest was open to all Concordia University students. We accepted poems in either English or French, limited to 100 words or less.

Prizes were awarded in the amount of $500, $250 and $100 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. The top three winning submissions will be displayed on colourful temporary construction walls that will wrap around the main staircase of the Webster Library. Winning poems will also be displayed at the Vanier Library and the Grey Nuns Reading Room.

From February 15 to March 14, 2016, 81 student poets submitted 123 poems.

Below are the winning submissions.

Placement of poems

Rendering - Staircase wraparound that will include directional signage and the three winning poems - with the winning poem featured on the front, and the other two, on the sides © UCS - Concordia University

First prize

a library

by Tanis Franco, Department of English

a library

is like a neutron
is like a tailor
is like a conscience
is like an inductor
is like a calla lily
is like a minaret
is like a knot
is like a sugar beet
is like a plasma membrane
is like a geometric mean


Second prize

ni animal ni plante ni minéral

by Guillaume Loslier-Pinard, Department of Contemporary Dance

le livre est un corail
ni animal ni plante ni minéral
un peu des trois
quatrième de couverture
bibliothèque banc de corail
où flotter entre les lignes
la ville est trop dure
et nous sommes trop mous
il nous faut un refuge poreux où se planter
bibliothèque banc
ni animal ni plante ni minéral
un peu des trois


Third prize

The Expanse

by Sylvain Tran, Department of Psychology

My first impression was one of many books.
But soon the Expanse smiled at us,
Said to come back.
And I do, I do come back.


Honourable mentions

Out in the Open

by Nicholas Roberts, Department of Philosophy

A fuzzy thing is not first seen
So sharply as a knife,
But open pages in-between,
A world teeming, fresh with life

The Watchman

by Hannah Korbee, Department of English

No one sees me breaking spines.
friends with plum ink palm stains -
lovers, fingers pricked with paper cuts -
strangers and their hard back snores -
Not even the watchman.
With a heavy, quiet cloud over her head.
Thinking of Sylvia's jar and Joyce's dead.
Much too preoccupied with what the thunder said.

Libraries; The Last Line of Defence

by Hana Maalaoui, Department of Biology, and Héloïse Paré, Department of Biology

Freedom slowly fading;
As education is enlightenment no more,
As debt becomes slavery,
As feodality has not been extinct,
Simply in better disguise.

Trust slowly corroding;
As Snowdens come forward,
As the veil is lifted from our eyes,
As our leaders stand bare,
Red from the blood of their sins.

Will slowly eroding;
As Kardashians are our downfall,
As our heads are turned in the wrong direction,
As the real issues fly over our minds,
Never to be caught by the mass.

Reality slowly evaporating;
As our minds are pulled to a virtual world,
Hypnotized, while everything around us slowly withers.

Check the footnotes

by Daniel Macaulay, Department of English

there are lots of things I don’t know
like these words for instance: 1
so I went to the library and learned
they mean: 2
        appearing younger than one's age
        the fear of the number 13
        a mound of stones; a marker, memorial or tomb
now there's three less things I don't know and I am a:
        sesquipedalian 3


1 how embarrassing!
2 thanks, books!
3 that means:
        a person who uses long words

For additional information, please contact:

Brigitte St-Laurent
Special Projects Manager

Updated: Thursday 14 May 2020
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