QWF Literary Prize for Young Writers: Grand Prize Winner

Nicola Sibthorpe

Artemisia Absinthium

This is a found Poem using the entry ‘Wormood’ from the Penguin Dictionary of Symbols written by Jean Chevalier, Alain Gheerbrant and Translated by John Buchanan-Brown.


There fell a great star from heaven
(A star which flamed like a torch)

Harold the fallen star-
Burning as it were a lamp,
Upon the water
(Many men died)
In the shape of bitterness
In particular-
Grief caused by absence
(Used to flavour wine)

Think of radioactivity,
Chemicals seeping into water,

One of the cosmic catastrophes,
A poisoning of the springs
The primeval source of life,
(The waters made bitter).

Nicola Sibthorpe is a Montreal born, Creative Writing MA student at Concordia. She is interested in Folktale and Mythology and the subversions that accompany them. She was the inaugural winner of the QWF’s Young Writers Award in 2017. Beyond spending her days writing, she is also a teacher, and enjoys spending time with her cat and a good cup of tea.