Posted: 27 May 2015
The Hopkins Poetry Prize is a student poetry competition established by the University of Roehampton to coincide with its annual Hopkins Lecture, which this year was given by director, producer and Harry Potter actress, Fiona Shaw on 19 May.
Katherine was named as the winner of the poetry competition by Head of the English and Creative Writing Department, Professor Laura Peters, after the lecture, who also presented her with her prize of £250.
The prize was judged by Dr Louise Lee, and Professor David Harsent, recent winner of the TS Eliot Prize.
Professor Harsent said: “Katherine's poem uses a light touch to produce a profound effect. The apparently casual – sometimes almost offhand – tone delivers deeper, darker things. The touchstone images – Luz Mala, La Ciguapa, Our Lady of Guadalupe, reinforce the carefully organised lines which – paradoxically - are at their most powerful when the first-person delivery seems to be merely – one might almost say innocently and therefore deceptively – conversational. Read and re-read, this poem is a little time-bomb.”
The two runners up, Jeremiah Hughes and Rufus Williams, also received a prize of £50 each. All of the shortlisted students read their poems in front of the Hopkins Lecture guests during the event, which was held at the University’s Whitelands College.
Students were asked to submit either one poem of no more than 500 words or a series of thematically related poems totalling no more than 500 words.
Luz Mala by Katherine Gutierrez
We sat in Copala
Aztec eyes with crackled fingers
Sing blue I thought someone
Must have said
Who do you love?
We had a babysitter
She had a deep dark voice
She talked in her sleep
I watched her in the dark
A la roro ya
Don’t stop I thought
I love your voice
La Ciguapa lives in the silver mines
She is hungry for men
Perhaps they should not have hurt her
She lost her baby
To the desert snake
She became wild like the devil
In red pantaloons
Now she is the monster
The men say
She is not a mother
I have fallen in love with the wrong person
Pray to Our Lady Guadalupe
She is covered in Castilian roses
But he gives me roses too
What should I do oh
what should I do
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