Origami Crane Contest



The Origami Crane Contest ran from 2009-2011. One prize went to the poem of the year, and the second prize went to the performance of the year. The winners each received one of our origami crane plaques, shown above.

2011 Winners Announced


Phil Hall

Origami Crane Winner

Jennifer Pederson,  for "Man Again"

This tough, lean, poem, coming from an unusual angle,

is bracingly unpoetical. It's metaphor, almost a joke, is too

close to home to be extraneous. It's raw honesty makes a music

that Anne Sexton's & D H Lawrence's poems are in tune with.


Its devastating middle stanza (“It is not impossible / to dance. /

It is only impossible / to look ahead.”) startles as it unites

the physical & emotional entrapment of couples with a

desperate generosity.


The goal, here, as in all risky poems, is transformation.

 “Stop whining” has perhaps never been sung so lovingly.

Runners Up

Murray Citron, for "Things"

This plain-spoken sonnet accrues force by its careful circling of

the dilemmas of aging.


Plows & drapes become grates & catheters; the kiln becomes a sink;

telescopes become catheters; hiking becomes footstools. A general word,

almost a nothing-word, “things” takes on such psychological import!


This poem is an illustration (& the embodiment) of William Carlos

Williams's dictum “No ideas but in things.”


Claudia Coutu Radmore, for "what would you tell the judge"

Yes, we go to stories to mourn. Perhaps that is what stories are,

fossils of mourning. (We didn't know that: the poem has surprised us...)


In this family portrait, couplets introduce us to exceptional details

(what has been stolen), and to revelations (what has been lost): stealing

is a healthy thing that one can do for oneself! (We had forgotten that...)


Disarming and chatty, touching and crisp, this is a poem one wants

to tell others about. (Passing on the story – a high form of praise...)


You are a poet.  You hate other people's rules.  So do we.  However, these are ours and we gotta have ‘em....


1.   All entries must have been read at a Tree Open-Mic session between 11 September 2012 and 11 December 2012 , inclusive.


2.   Printed entries can be no more than one page in length, at no less than 12-point type.  An entry may cover, at peril of annoying whoever does the judgin’, both sides of an 8.5” X 11” sheet of paper.


3.   Readers can submit multiple entries.  A postal or email address is required.


4.   The winner will be announced at the first Tree session in January 2013.  The winner will be awarded an Origami Crane, appropriately mounted or not, folded by a local artist using the winning submission.


5.   Judging will be done by a Very Important Poet, or two, from the Ottawa region.


6.   The winners will be featured in the first issue of Tree Leaves following the announcement.


7.   Printed entries can be:

          a) handed to any member of the Tree executive;

          b) emailed to treereadingseries@live.ca with the subject line “Crane”; or

          c) posted (again unfolded, unspindled, unmutilated and unbent) to:   

                                       Tree Reading Series

                                       143 - 2166 Loyola Avenue

                                       Ottawa  ON  K1J 8H5


9.  There shall be no losers.




Monty Reid


Origami Crane Winner

Terry Ann Carter, for “Haiku from Cambodia”



Mary Lee Bragg, for “Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer”
Grant Savage, for from “Lips Poured – #3″
Dee Hobsbawn-Smith, for “Pottery in the Cypress Hills”
Claudia Coutu Radmore, for “afternoon moon pie”


Award for best performance at Tree

 Paul Macken for his Dead Poet Presentation on Elizabeth Barrett Browning.





Susan McMaster


Origami Crane Winner

Cameron Anstee, for “First Law (from Water Upsets Stone)”


Judges Notes

This contemporary, well-wrought poem shows effective use techniques of poetic diction like visual placement and margination to indicate elements of voice and thought. It intersperses the “hard” language of physics with oblique emotional images such as a sheered snowbank “baring ... a ... small crumbling in the air” or “bricks contracting toward their empty spaces”; maintains tension and interest throughout through concise, quietly musical, fresh language like “storms linger”; and ends with a two-word twist that brings all these elements together. I am pleased to present the first Origami Crane Poetry Prize to Cameron Anstee. Congratulations.



Gillian Wallace for “Crow, of the family Corvidae” 

Grant Savage for “Inadvertently seated..."

Claudia Coutu-Radmore for “Sacrament”

M.T. Al-Mansouri for “The Trinity: The Occupier, the Holy Land and the Child”