For the second year, Voices Israel Group of Poets in English is opening a Young Poets Competition to perpetuate the memory of a talented young poet, the late Bar Sagi, who tragically passed away at the age of 15.
Born in Rehovot, her family took her to the United States during her first school years and she returned with a perfect command of English.
In a short biography by Aharon Sagi, Bar's paternal grandfather, he describes her as "a girl of light. Whenever she arrived the place was immediately filled with joy.
"She loved horse-riding and sports and singing but her greatest delight came from reading. She would say that when you open a book you enter into a strange and wonderful world.
"Her own stories were full of imagination and good humor but her poetry expressed her suffering and despair."
For, tragically at the age of 11 she was diagnosed with bone cancer, and the next four years of her short life were spent fighting the disease, enduring painful and debilitating treatments until she succumbed at the age of 15.
After her death, the family found a collection of poems, See Me Soar and Spread My Wings, poems about hope and yearning. It was later published by Gvanim, Tel Aviv in 2018, beautifully illustrated by Ellie Makarimanov and Anna Melnikov.
Bar's grandparents, Denise and Anthony Joseph, decided on behalf of the family to sponsor the Bar Sagi Young Poets' Competition, to encourage other young talented poets to expose their work. There was an enthusiastic response to the 2020 competition administered by Voices Israel Poetry in English Group, and the family decided to continue and sponsor the second one for 2021.
The competition is open to all schoolchildren aged 12 to 19 who write poems in English. Three poems will be selected and awarded cash prizes. They will be read at a prize-winning ceremony and will later be published in the 2021 Voices anthology. Poems must be unpublished and be no more than 41 lines. The opening date for submission was 15th November 2020 and the closing date is 15th January 2021. The competition has approval from the Ministry of Education, and teachers of English throughout the country are being asked to encourage their students to enter.
Details of entry on the website: www.Voicesisrael.com/bar-sagi-prize
More information about the competition: