blogpost on celebrating National Poetry Month and since it's Poetry Monday today I thought I'd check in with my progress. I've now written four poems this month and although I can't put them up here, I can tell you that the first three were sent as submissions to Cordite for their Issue 43 which has, as its theme, "masque" and is being guest-edited by the wonderful poet and scholar Ann Vickery. Though I've had reviews published there, and submit to them often (who can resist their calls - they're always so evocative ("Bold Interiors of Poetic Fancy and Brocaded Rewindings, Lyricised run-ons and flirtatious Kinks in the Narrative."), I've never had poetry published there, but I read each issue eagerly, commend it to you, and will continue to submit indefinitely (how's that for a lyricised run-on?).
The fourth poem, titled "Bringing You Back", written for my grandmother, was sent, with some other, as yet unpublished (and re-polished) poems to a newish site called Silent Things. I always try to send my work somewhere (rather than just publish it myself) as it helps with the all-important curation process. In my case, I tend to hone more, and read in a more objective way (imagine I'm someone else reading my work) if I plan to send it somewhere. So I think I've met my target. Nevertheless, I've got one more to write before I focus my attention heavily back into novel 3, and it's a big one. That's my annual entry to the Newcastle Poetry Prize. Yes, it's competitive. It's worthwhile just looking at previous winners' work as it's among some of the most exciting and enticing work being published today. First prize is $12,000, Australia's most lucrative poetry prize. There's a maximum of 200 lines, and I think it's probably a wasted opportunity to send short poems, though poem cycles are allowed. It's a reasonably substantial piece of work they're looking for. If you're an Australian poet, I urge you to enter, not because I need any more competition (it's always a long shot anyway), but because the discipline of writing for such an illustrious, big prize will push you to your literary limits, and that's always a good thing for a writer. I'm thinking that one might be worth getting some extra help with. The great Jean Kent is doing a poetry workshop at Morisset Library on Wednesday 22 May 9.30am - 12.30pm and though I count Jean as a friend, I'm also a fan and Jean has actually won second prize in the Newcastle Poetry Prize, so a workshop with her certainly wouldn't hurt. How is your poetry month coming along?