Wordview 2022: Centenary Celebrations

when I am one hundred, inclusive language will be rain and bulb 

and we shall use these to plant and harvest and nourish 

when I am one hundred, skin colour will be as autumn leaves 

and the viewfinders of wePhones shall frame wonder and awe 

when I am one hundred, the animals of the earth will be holy of holies 

and they shall no longer know the bullet, the knife and the net 

when I am one hundred, the atmosphere will be rich with oxygen 

and we shall only hear of fossil fuel deployment in war museums 

when I am one hundred, social media will be as the solar system 

and we shall not see dark matter but for the billions of stars 

when I am one hundred, the stock exchange will stock things useful 

and those who visit shall not want for food, shelter or friends 

when I am one hundred, the gender rainbow will be the vault of heaven 

and this shall be the flag of Yahweh and of all nations and peoples 

when I am one hundred, climate change will be axis, tilt and rotation 

and we shall only seriously discuss the Four Seasons of Vivaldi 

when I am one hundred, children will sit with lawmakers and politicians 

and adults shall navigate legislation with moral compasses 

when I am one hundred, houses of worship will only honor one visit 

and the faithful shall have as many homes as they do houses 

when I am one hundred, indigenous peoples will have reclaimed their land 

and generations of colonizers shall exchange loot bags for tourist visas 

and when I am one hundred, I and my partner will make love like acrobats 

and we shall give thanks for middle age and our next hundred years 

Poem recorded as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2022. Used by permission of author.

Wordview 2022 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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Dean Gessie

Dean Gessie is an author and poet who has won dozens of international awards and prizes. More recently, Dean won the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in England, the Indigo Open Poetry Prize in England, the Allingham Arts Festival Poetry Competition in Ireland, the COP26 Poetry Competition in Scotland, the UN-aligned Poetry Contest in Finland and the Creators of Justice Literary Award [Fiction Category] in New York.

A special thank you to our WordView 2021 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Joelle Taylor, says: "We were thrilled by the range and scope of the poetry and techniques explored throughout the wide submissions. I have said before that to write a poem is an act of resistance but to then perform it as well is a revolution. It takes a bravery to face the page, and a further one to stand by your words. While we’ve all become more used to filming ourselves over the pandemic, all of us were deeply aware of that courage.

Often when on a judging panel we find ourselves faced with impossible decisions. If you can imagine, after sifting, it’s as though a hundred people have crossed the finish line at precisely the same moment but there are only three medals. How do we come to these decisions? Through the objective unpicking of the poems, through our individual passions, through a consideration of narratives, especially those lesser heard. We come to it through uneasy negotiation and through heart, and above all through our shared love and understanding of the possibilities of poetry.

Our honest applause goes to all who submitted, and I hope you can hear it.

Congratulations to those we selected. We hope to see you all again soon."

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