Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2023: A Late Summer Night’s Dream

Like ten thousand fireflies in the night sky,
you stood on the street,
waving lit mobile phones.

Across the island, Peninsula,
North, and Lion Rock’s top,
you lined and linked.

Holding hands, hearts in sync,
you stayed steadfast,
pursuing breakthroughs.

In this state of wonder –
a boundless blue,
you breathed and regrouped.

Shafts of light
pierced the leaden clouds,
after chaos and clashes.

A disappearing culture
in a changing era,
like broken jars lost in the fight.

Revisiting the night,
you felt the warmth in your palms
when the rain started falling.

You dreamed of a bright new dawn –
ten thousand fireflies
carried you on.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2023 Winners

Poetry Archive Now! was established in 2020 to enable us to gather recordings from a much wider pool of talented poets from the UK and ...

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Sonia Leung

Sonia Leung, a Hong Kong-based poet and writer, is the author of Don’t Cry, Phoenix (2020), a bilingual (English and Chinese) poetry collection. Sonia holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies worldwide (www.soniaflleung.com). Sonia’s second book, The Girl Who Dreamed – A Hong Kong Memoir of Triumph against the Odds, will be available in March 2024. She is exploring publication opportunities for her third book, Three-inch Heaven, a collection of personal essays and short stories reflecting Chinese women’s lives, and her new poetry collection in English, Coming Home to Hong Kong in 2022.

A special thank you to our WordView 2023 poets.

Here's what our PAN Wordview 2023 judges have to say about this year's competition. Robert Seatter, says "ever a joy and a privilege to co-judge the Poetry Archive Now annual competition, tapping into a pulse of thought and feeling from around the globe, condensed into intensely crafted poems. The entries came from all continents, covered myriad themes, spoke in different voices, but all shared a fundamental belief in the power of poetry to speak from the soul."

Courtney Conrad says "the poets who participated in this competition reminded us that poetry is a tool for change, a medium for reflection, and a source of inspiration. These poets have left an indelible mark on me and the world, and I can't wait to see how their words continue to shape our collective consciousness in the future."

Merrie Joy Williams says "The Poetry Archive is such an indispensable resource - the idea that a poem read in a poet’s own voice can outlast those seemingly endless moments tinkering until a poem feels right, or at least robust enough to convey a memory or insight - so exploring these entries was a privilege and joy. Selecting a final twenty was tortuous. So many captured the spirit of these times, when so many things are at risk of erosion or at a critical juncture: the environment, the misuse of AI, truthfulness, the modus operandi of those who run our countries, and issues of social justice and humanity. Others captured personal moments of reckoning in bold and intimate and surprising ways. Somehow we’ve managed to narrow them down and here we have, I think, a wide range of voices and approaches, personal and political, national and international, witty and wise, often proving that these dialectic notions are one and the same."

See the collectionWatch the full Wordview 2023 playlist