I am so very nice

April 21, 2015

Why that self praise? I am about to share the details of a wonderful poetry prize currently on offer with all readers:

http://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/competitions-and-awards/vcpoetryprize

First prize is $15,000 for one poem of up to 50 lines, and entry is $20. It is open to everyone in the world who writes English and has a credit card with at least $20 left on it. That may exclude quite a number of poets, admittedly, but a few may qualify. There’s a bit over a month before the prize closes. Obviously, there will be quite a few entries!

Pick up pen, tablet or crayon and write. Or enter a poem that you have been too lazy to send in to a journal. Do it or be beaten by this rabbit:
bigstock-rabbit-in-hat-cartoon-31045169

I am hoarding a poem for the competition like Gollum with the Ring. It just requires a bit more polishing.

Good luck!

A special afternoon

April 19, 2015

David Stavanger works on a line between music and poetry…No.
David Stavanger erases the line between music and poetry….That’s better. Though overly simplistic.

Here he is setting up before his gig in Canberra at Hotel Hotel in New Acton.
david s setting up
Richard Grantham played actual music, including electronic delay with a viola, and keyboards. David played his throat, and the audience, in a devilish performance.

Ellie Malbon also performed her poetry, and at one stage she was joined with Aaron Kirby in a piece with eucalyptus forests, and drowning, which made me think of Birnam Wood coming towards Macbeth in his castle (in the soon to be released play of the same name). Also there were surfing images, and a challenging of the division between elements, and a questioning of myths of improvement. There was a bath, too, in another poem. Here are Ellie’s feet, displayed on the interesting floor which could hardly be described as minimalist:
ellie malbon's feet

CJ Bowerbird emceed and performed, and I regret not having captured either his suit or his performance. Andrew Galan read works from his forthcoming second collection, which had a decidedly canine feel to it. This is the sort of maniac that he had in the audience:
Annie Te Whiu of ag and me
Thanks to Annie Te Whiu for the photo.

All in all, this was a wonderful afternoon of poetry and music at Hotel Hotel, in which a lot of poems about water were transformed into magic. The wine was good too…

David’s collection, The Special, is one I should have read by now, but it’s always great to buy it from the poet direct.

Publications and sloth

April 18, 2015

No, I am afraid you won’t get a picture of a sloth engaging in upside down cuteness on these austere pages. But here is one of some dogs. One of them is even upside down, and some say she is a cross between a dog and a sloth.
mango and scupper asleep

I have been at the beach for a week or so, and relatively slothful, aided by very dodgy internet access. Although I did enter the best poetry competition, whereby a list of ten words is provided and the entrant/masochist must write a poem containing each of the words. In 48 hours. There are, it seems, very few sloths in Canada. That festival of energetic composition is organised by Contemporary Verse 2. For some poets, this contest would seem overly prescriptive, but I quite like the challenge of using the ten words without them screaming ‘We were given, not found’. It keeps you on your poetic toes.

If you would like to read a poem I wrote which did not derive from a competition, please press this link. The poem deals with space and jazz, and is called ‘Miles and Beyond’. It was just published at Eye to the Telescope, which is the online journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, based in the United States, a nation to the south of Canada, also bereft of sloths. Diane Severson edited this issue, which is made up of speculative poetry about music.

Now, to drag sloths into a blog is terribly out of date; a bit like a parent trying to speak to a teenage child and speaking of ‘Instantgram’ and ‘Readit’. (Tragedy often wears a cardigan.)

In fact, including sloths here might be described as slothful.

***
The issue of Midnight Echo I mentioned in my previous post is now available for purchase. It is currently only in PDF, but will soon be available in different formats. I wrote a column about poetry and an actual poem for that issue, edited by Kaaron Warren.

UPDATE 21-4

Midnight Echo is now also in epub and mobi.

A horrible interview

April 8, 2015

Well, to be accurate, it’s an interview I did that is part of a series leading up to the publication of the next edition of Midnight Echo, the organ (I think the liver) of the Australian Horror Writers Association. Kaaron Warren, who is troublingly nice for a woman who writes very disturbing books, is editing the edition, which has the theme ‘sinister’.

I have a poem in the forthcoming issue, and a column about writing poetry, or rather, how I write poetry. I talk very briefly about a few things here:
http://midnightechomagazine.com/2015/04/08/meet-the-poet-ps-cottier/
However I am much more effusive in the column!

The new issue of Midnight Echo is released April 15th.

He is risen indeed!

April 5, 2015

He is risen indeed!

— like Daniel Vettori, one-handed catch,
or Wingard marking like a boofy angel,
or Medhurst steadying before the net,
but with no ageing, no hamstring tweak,
and no second division.

And one day, we will see his face.
Perhaps tomorrow, or Tuesday week.

P.S. Cottier

Jesus_Resurrection_1778

Now, for benighted foreigners/those from non-cricketing, non-netball, non Australian Rules Football nations (for I hear that such places actually exist):

* Daniel Vettori is a cricketer who plays for New Zealand, who took a spectacular catch on the boundary in a recent World Cup match. I shall say no more about the eventual result of the tournament, although the word ‘plucky’ springs to mind. (Or plucked.)
* Chad Wingard is an AFL (Australian Football League) player who took a fantastic mark playing for Port Adelaide in a match against St Kilda last season. (A mark is where you leap up to catch the ball, often using another player as a fleshy ladder.)
* Natalie Medhurst is a prolific scorer in the Australian netball team, who exemplifies calmness and accuracy under pressure.

The ‘he’ of the title is rumoured to have been born in a non-cricketing, non-netball, non-Aussie Rules playing country. Can this possibly be true? (-: I shall try and understand this as I eat my weight in chocolate.

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