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Student wins first SMS poetry competition

Inspired by granny. Aw bless.

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The world's first text message poetry competition has been decided and the winner is 22-year-old student Hetty Hughes. Hetty is doing a degree in peace studies and was in the midst of an essay on the United Nations when she caught sight of a pic of her gran. The text poem was finished minutes later. This is it:

txtin iz messin,
mi headn'me englis,
try2rite essays,
they all come out txtis.
gran not plsed w/letters shes getn,
swears i wrote better
b4 comin2uni.
&she's african

The competition was run by the Guardian newspaper. It announced at the end of March its intention to run a poetry competition through mobile phones, with winners also decided by sending SMS messages. Its feeling was that text messaging was creating a new art form of widely understood but abstract symbols being used to convey as much information in as short a space as possible.

Nearly 7,500 poems were sent in the end. A short list of 100 was given to two well-known poets - Peter Sansom and UA Fanthorpe - who then chose seven of the best. These seven were then texted to all entrants who voted on how much they liked the poem out of 10.

Hetty received £1,000 first prize, £500 went to second-place winner Steve Kilgallon and £100 to three third-prize winners.

This is the second place poem:

Sheffield
Sun on maisonette windows
sends speed-camera flashes tinting through tram cables
startling drivers
dragging rain-waterfalls in their wheels
I drive on

(Looks a bit trad to me. Where's the text messaging in that? - Ed)

If you want to learn more and/or read more of the poems, check out the Guardian's story here. ®

Related Link
Guardian poetry competition

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