My life in crime, or a Thunderbolt from the New (England)

October 12, 2015

I had some exciting news recently. My poem ‘Criminals who are no longer criminals’ was awarded first place in the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, run by the New England Writers Centre. The poetry judge, Les Murray, liked the clarity of the poem’s descriptions, which is particularly cool given that the poem deals with a group of ghosts. These are the ghosts of people convicted of crimes now repealed, including homosexuality and witchcraft, and I wrote of them meeting outside courts.

Chair of the New England Writers Centre, Sophie Masson, interviewed me and the interview can be read at her blog. I talk about the inspiration for the poem, which was the way we (meaning Australia) deal with asylum seekers. Also about what sort of poetry I like, and further details of my life of poetic crime. There is a link to the actual poem, at the Armidale Express.

As usual, Old Book Illustrations provided the perfect image, seemingly dealing with the process of composition.


I am now off to buy a budgie with the winnings. No Tuesday Poem from me. Unless you chase the link above, that is.

The poem can now be read here.

6 Responses to “My life in crime, or a Thunderbolt from the New (England)”

  1. Michele Seminara said

    You’re on a fabulous roll, Penelope! Loved the poem — congrats!

  2. pscottier said

    Mmm, the idea of a fabulous roll is about to send me to the kitchen…you put me in a good humous there, Michele.


    There are a couple of typos in the Express version of the poem!

  3. Helen Lowe said

    Wow, this is amazing news, Penelope: congratulations!

  4. pscottier said

    Thank you Helen! They also sent a really nice certificate today. I pretend to be too cool to like that sort of thing, but I’m not!

  5. Such good news. Well done P.

  6. pscottier said

    Thank you, Mr S.

    I really bought a budgie.

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