August 19 - 25, 2012: Issue 72   

 Heart Song an Anthology of Pittwater Poetry Book Launched

Mayor Harvey Rose and President of Pittwater Community Arts, Lorrie Morgan 

Michelle Holmes, 1st Adults winner, with Lorrie Morgan 

Paul Su, Pittwater High School, equal 1st in Juniors 

James Layman, Mona Vale Public School, equal 1st in Juniors 

Jenny England with Mayor Rose 

 Ivy Whiteman, Avalon Public School winner


 Heart Song an Anthology of Pittwater Poetry

Some words sing inside us. Their visions of places, events and experience so well communicate the light, colour, the nuance of a single breath, that up springs within and surrounds us, from a simple total of letter characters arranged just thus, a sum of threads woven that are a song and songs. Lyrical is in the water, air, and earth currents and even the way a fire breathes. Why wouldn’t lyricalness be residing within us also, just waiting to likewise breathe and shape these breaths with words, words that sing and sing so well they are a song within us.

These songs singing within, making leap to our minds and tongues a few words, a phrase, a rhythm of saying that communicates the song, that rises and sings ever after inside us those words and all they mean, are the bane of poetry and poets. Poets are the soul keepers, the essence transferrers. They try to communicate truths, sometimes with flowers and sometimes with simplicity, implying that all, when ranged simply, and as truly is, is already clothed deep and high with epitomes, with archetypes, with serene, sublime, ugly, rough and articulate beauty. Poetry can be ‘the cat sat on the mat’… poetry can be ‘Twas brillig and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;’ and even ‘Ora Pro Nobis’; as lyrical prayerful divinity.

This week, Heart Song an Anthology of Pittwater Poetry, was launched at Mona Vale library. Initiated by Lorrie Morgan, President of Pittwater Community Arts, and Harvey Rose, Mayor of Pittwater, whose love of poetry is well known, this collection of verses from today’s and yesterday’s poets celebrate Pittwater in songs rare and fine. As part of commemorating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of our own Pittwater Council these musings from many, inspired by our lovely home, celebrate what we all like to call pure Pittwater.

Irene Gorman with poet Shauna Aroney

During the launch winners for the Poetry Competition were announced and each received what any true poet is always hungry for and wanting to know; other’s words and imagery. Books celebrating Pittwater in photos and insights were presented to each recipient. We have listed some of the winners below but Mayor Harvey Rose did read out a list of children who entered and won commendations that went on for ten minutes, a great effort and good news for future Pittwater poets.

The Pittwater Poetry Competition: a judge’s perspective
by Sue Martin

The Pittwater Poetry Competition, held by Pittwater Community Arts to mark twenty years of the Pittwater Council, was enthusiastically supported by the local community with a huge number of entries submitted by people of all ages. In addition to submitting unpublished original poems for the competition, people also nominated a number of poems that had previously been published elsewhere, for inclusion in the anthology.

There were two parts to the judges’ task. They were required first to choose the winning entries from both the open and junior category and then to select poems both unpublished and published for inclusion in the anthology. Initially, the judges met to develop criteria for the selection process. It was agreed that the poems would be assessed on both content and style. It was decided that the names of the poets should not be displayed during judging to ensure a completely impartial process.

The criteria for content were:
the poem demonstrates a connection to Pittwater explicitly or implicitly
the choice of subject may show a strong connection, a moment of inspiration, or a quirky observation
the poem presents a subject from a new or unique angle
the poem captures the essence of a subject
the poem will resonate with readers.

The criteria for style were that the poem:
demonstrates a thoughtful use of language
creates a clear atmosphere/mood
elicits sensory feelings through imagery
is thought provoking
displays a sense of rhythmic flow appropriate to the subject (not necessarily rhyme)
operates on more than one level of understanding.

Unfortunately on the basis of the above criteria, the judges had to make some hard decisions and some highly recommended poems were not included in the anthology. The judges were unanimous in their appreciation of the great affection for Pittwater demonstrated by the poems submitted which were a striking demonstration of the creative voice that is so prominent in Pittwater.

“Heart Song” an Anthology of Pittwater poetry
1st:  Michelle Holmes  “A Heart Song”   
2nd:  Jenny England  “Pittwater Dreaming”    
3rd:  Rosemary Revitt  “Why”         
Junior Winners:
Equal 1st: James Layman, Mona Vale PS  and  Paul Su, Pittwater High school
2nd:  Ivy Whiteman Avalon Public School

Filled with wonderful images from the Pittwater Camera Club members, a painting from Arthur Murch courtesy of wife Ria, and other images from celebrated resident artists, this 133 pages of memories, celebrations of Pittwater history and thoughts from the very young to those of our elders belongs in every Pittwater household.

Copies are available from the Mona Vale Library at a cost of $24.00, on the Pittwater Community Arts website or by contacting Lorrie Morgan on 9997 8079 or dashing off an email to

As the print run was 500, with over 100 of these sold at the launch, you may need to get in quick to secure your own copy.


Michael Mannington's Volunteer Photography public gallery