No poem today, but I thought I’d share information about some great poetry prizes.

Firstly, the Australian Catholic University has a competition on the theme ‘Loving Kindness’. When I first heard the theme, I was less than rapt, but the more I thought about it, the more a poem wriggled out from between the words, until it demanded to be penned in the seedy corral of a poem.  This contest is open to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and overseas students studying in Australia.  Here is the link. Closes early June. There is a nice, really well catered, ceremony held in Melbourne at which the (generous) prizes for this are awarded.  I was placed third last year and read my poem there.  A book of entries was produced too.  Entry is $20.  And, no, you don’t have to be Catholic, or of any other religion (although you can be!).

Secondly (and this one is open to all poets writing in English) there is the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize.  There is no theme for this one. Again, there are great prizes, including a tidy $15,000 for the first place getter. However, some may quite reasonably baulk at the entry fees for these prestigious competitions ($20).  There is a discounted rate for university students, and there is also a separate free competition for students in Year 11 and 12 at an ACT or NSW school.  There are also cash prizes for this one, and ‘winners will be invited to attend the IPSI Poetry on the Move festival where they will be invited to read their poem and a chance to meet some excellent poets.’  And possibly some mediocore ones!  That is not compulsory though.

There is yet another competition being offered through the University of Canberra too.  This is the Health Poetry Prize, which is only open to Australians, and the poems must be on the theme of ‘Living Life Well’, which also sounded vaguely off-putting to me at first glance, until I noticed that the poem could also deal with barriers to ‘Living Life Well’.  So there is no need to use that foul word ’empowerment’…This one is $10 to enter, and seems like a great initiative.

Of course, everyone who has ever written a poem in English, and their more literate pets, will enter the international Uni of Canberra one, which makes it the most competitive.  (Given that ‘everyone’ has a credit card with at least $20 left on it.) These things are a bit of a lottery (however well qualified the judges are), but if you get a decent poem out of the process, it may be worth it.

My own view of poetry competitions is that if the topic catches my eye, I’ll have a go, but I won’t force a poem out because there is a competition.  I have written about the whole economy of competitions elsewhere.  (At Overland.)

Have fun!

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The photo above by Adam Thomas  shows me being interviewed by JC Inman. Monday at Smith’s, (aka TODAY!) I’ll be interviewing JC Inman. So that photo is doubly relevant.

Come and see Josh talk about his poetry, writing, life, eggs that also talk, and a few other things. 7pm at Smiths Alternative, Alinga Street, Civic ($10).  He will then read and/or perform some poems. There is also an open mic, and a bar where you can purchase good stuff.

Photo: Adam Thomas CC 2.0

UPDATE:  And a good, and even interesting, time was had by all.

So as the year drags its poxy old carcass towards December, waiting to be reborn, I thought I’d have a bit of a think on what I’ve done this year in terms of writing. If that is likely to bore the intellectual beeves from your brain’s corral, please scroll down to the end, where there be a poem.

Firstly, the list is not all settled as the anthology edited by Tim Jones and myself has been nominated for the poetry category in the ACT Publishing Awards, run by the ACT Writers Centre.

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The awards are to be given out in the lovely old building that is now the Gorman Arts Centre, on the 17th, as people sip wine and nibble on cheese.  Or, in some people’s cases, spurn cheese and guzzle wine.  I’ll update on those results.

Here’s some other stuff I did this year. Some future publications (accepted but not announced) do not appear:

P.S. Cottier’s stuff in 2015

Poem ‘Canberra’ accepted for Capitals anthology, edited Abhay K. To be published in 2015.  Now 2016.

Poems ‘Lord A of Yarralumla’, ‘Bike ride at night’, ‘A good end’ and ‘The smell of heaven’ published in Eureka Street, Volume 25 No 2, 9th February 2015. ‘A good end’ also published in Global Pulse, ‘edited in Rome, produced in Thailand’.

Poem ‘A lively discussion over the merits of flash fiction’ published Antipodean SF, issue 200, February 2015, along with reprint of ‘Prickly Green’. Recording of latter on radio show, March 2015.

Shortlisted Thiel Grant for online writing, March 2015 for proposal to write weekly piece on Frankenstein and Mary Shelley.

Report on Banjo Paterson Festival for Australian Poetry website, March 2015. (I performed a poem at the competition in Orange in February.)

Reading, Folk Dance Association of ACT, March 2015.

Poems ‘Cockatoos’ ‘All the blond Jesuses’ ‘The chicken in Autumn’ ‘A gecko in Canberra’ published in The House is Not Quiet and The World is Not Calm: Poetry from Canberra, edited Geoff Page and Kit Kelen, China, 2015.

Poem ‘After hours in the op shop’ republished in Rhysling Anthology, 2015, USA

Pocket book Paths into Inner Canberra published by Ginninderra Press, March 2015 in ‘Pocket Places’ series.

Adelaide Plains Poets Inc Poetry Competition 2014/15 ‘CLIMATE’ theme, awarded second prize for ‘Circular’. Judge Shelley Hansen.

‘Miles and beyond’ published Eye to the Telescope, Issue 16, on ‘Music’ theme, edited Diane Severson Mori, April 2015. (USA)

Tanka ‘without you’ published All You Need is Love, ed Amelia Fielden, April 2015.

‘Fire haiku’ published in Flood, Fire and Drought, ed Hazel Hall et al May 2015

Poem ‘The fruit of her hands’ published Midnight Echo, no 11, edited Kaaron Warren, April 2015. Also column on poetry, called ‘Writing with the Left Hand: P.S. Cottier discusses the sinister side of poetry’.

Article; ‘Crafty poet seeks words’ in ACTWrite, May 2015 (How I write)

Article ‘Literary competitions: Better than the pokies?’ (retitled ‘An accountant of dreams’) Overland Blog, May 2015

MS ‘ “Impressed upon me even more deeply”; Reflections of the monster’ judged to be ‘outstanding’ by Amy Hilhorst, work & tumble’s letter press chapbook competition, June 2015

Reading, Manning Clark House, June 2015 (30 minutes)

Highly commended inaugural Interstellar poetry award, June 2015 for ‘We are all working our way up, towards the birds’

Poem ‘Carrying an injury’ Verity La, June 2015

Poem ‘Route 9’ awarded third prize Australian Catholic University Poetry Prize 2015 on theme Peace Tolerance and Understanding, judged Kevin Hart and published in book of theme name, August 2015.

‘Shellac’ republished in Dwarf Stars Anthology, USA, 2015, edited John Amen.

Book Review Timelord Dreaming by David P Reiter published SMH 1-7 (on-line) Canberra Times 1-8 (print)

‘Soft-sacks for total relaxation’ (story) published Antipodean SF, August 2015. Also recorded for radio show. Broadcast November 7.

Book Review Growing Older Without Feeling Old: On Vitality and Ageing by Rudi Westendorp published The CT, August 8 2015

Two poems ‘The rules of cricket rewritten for the fairy world’ and ‘All the ships of the world’ published Eureka Street, Volume 25 No 15, 10 August 2015

‘At the Lifeline Bookfair’ Canberra Times, 19 September 2015

First Place Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, New England Writers Centre, 2015, published Armidale Express and the NEWC website. Judge Les Murray.

Highly Commended FAWQ Poetry Competition, November 2015 ‘The sounds of dying’

‘Secondary ghosts’ published Australian Poetry Journal, Volume 5 Issue 2, November 2015, edited Michael Sharkey.

‘A hard poem to market’ published Cordite ‘Toil’ edition (52) edited Carol Jenkins, 1 November 2015

‘Remembering Laika’ published in A Quiet Shelter There: An Anthology to Benefit Homeless Animals, ed Gerri Lean, Hadley Rille Books (US)

Solo reading/discussion Smith’s Alternative, November 2, 2015. That Poetry Thing That Is On At Smith’s Every Other Monday.

Poem ‘Three ways to look at crochet’ accepted for The Canberra Times, September 2016 (!)

***

I feel I’ve been quite busy this year, and I am particularly pleased with the wee book Paths Into Inner Canberra, which combines prose and poetry.  On the other hand, I should be sending out full length manuscripts here and there, but just want to write more individual poems at the moment.

I’ve been doing a few readings, and did my first solo one at Smith’s in November.  I particularly enjoyed being interviewed by Norm de Plume (Josh Inman) who is back in Canberra after defecting to Sydney.

Sydernee and Melbourne are both easier places to be a poet, it seems to me, (cos bigger and nearer to more publishers) and harder, in that it is easier to slip into anonymity there (cos bigger and more poets).  But definitely, those of us in the provinces need to be a little noisier to be noticed and acknowledged, I think.  Hard for the shy and retiring!  Or those who find Facebook and Twitter unbearable, anyway, such as your constant blogger.

Here’s a wee poem after all this egregious seeveeing.  (Which is like emceeing but even more ego driven.)  About climate change and monsters, which are frequent companions in my work this year:

Full stomp

It’s coming —
stomp! stomp! stomp!
down the roads of your town
or city or village or Tokyo style
megalopolis. Or isle now all swamp —
splash splash splash splash!
Roaring and slapping buildings
like the cheeks
of a thousand hysterical women
in chap rich 50s Westerns.
Stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp!
It is silver as a can,
silver as the idea of an automobile
before we (forget Tokyo)
realised that petrol had a price. Or gas,
as the Americans say —
fart fart stomp fart fart.
Godzilla on steroids
(for we shall use Japan when it suits us)
it turns its awful face towards us!
The face seems so familiar!
It breathes out the thick air
of a million hangovers!
Its cheeks have warts like silver hubcaps,
flung onto the highways of its cheeks!
I am the Anthroposaurus, it says.
Look upon me and weep!
Its voice is as subtle as its step,
subtle as this poem’s drear
stompification.
(Full stomp.)

P.S. Cottier

struth-winkelried

oral hygiene and the dragon

In many ways, this blog is my favourite creation, and thanks to all my readers for being part of it.

Other Tuesday Poems can be found here.

Tuesday poem: Wattle

September 7, 2015

Wattle

Confetti throws handfuls of self
against ecstatic sky
cheering its union with blue.

This is no watercolour plant.
Each bubble blown is distinct
a life born from Winter’s death.

I look at the tree and see God, hear
a choir of yellow lungs, inflated.
But then again, I’m not allergic.

P.S. Cottier
wattle

I will avoid any puns using the word spring in this post, however hard that is for me. Tonight (Tuesday) I’m reading at The Gods on the ANU campus (a short distance form the Australian National Botanic Gardens, where I photographed the wattle), with Melinda Smith and Owen Bullock. I am reading mostly new material. I am finding it easy to write at the moment, which has to be a Good Thing. I just hope that it’s not a sudden blaze, fading as quickly as a wattle.

Good to see that I am keeping my glorious pessimism well watered! It’s like a wattle, but beige, and it smells a bit like very well used socks.

Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets around the world by pressing here.

Tuesday poem: ‘P’

June 1, 2015

‘P’

Pregnant with puppies
your long stroke body and
fat little tum, poking out like
a bad boy’s tongue, reversed
(b = p topsied, topsided, pissed).

All the green puns that woke
the princess; those pesky vegies
that pulled her out of zeds
nicking peace, hatching doubts —
… elliptical peas …

P.S. Cottier

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Now that Little Poem started as an ekphrastic response to an alphabet that was displayed at the Canberra Museum and Gallery…Different letters by different artists…Sarah Rice facilitated the workshop, I recall…But I can’t remember which artist did the P, so to speak. The poem is no longer as ekphrastic as it used to be…I love ellipses too much, obviously…

If you want puns (and who doesn’t?) there may be some written by other Tuesday Poets. I know not… Read the works of the other Tuesday Poets around the world by pressing here.

What’s the betting that the poodle above is called Prince or Princess? If I ever adopt a poodle from a shelter, I will call it Chopper.