Welcome to Poetic Pause

Whether it be for a brief moment or longer, we all need to stay still for a moment and just be. I've found over the years that my poetry helps me find those moments. I can drift away when reading the poetry of others and discover new ideas, new ways of thinking, of being.

When I settle down to write a new poem, or to work on one written previously, I drift away again, and grow as I write. Time takes on a different dimension, and my head goes places it has never been before. I love to write poetry, it's one of the best things there in the world - it's up there with chocolate when it's going well!

There are so many things to write poetry about, and so many different forms of poetry, from tiny 17 syllable haiku, to 200 page verse novels. All of the different forms have merits, and all can take you and your readers to interesting places.



Friday, January 29, 2016

Competition is now closed.

The Adelaide Plains Poets poetry competition, with the theme of 'Transitions' is now closed, so the entry form and guidelines have been removed from this blog. The only new entries accepted now will be the ones that arrive in the post next week, postmarked by today (Friday 29 January), or are given to me on Sunday. So if you missed the post today, you'd better get to the Prince Albert Hotel in Gawler at 2 - 4 pm Sunday 31 January.

This has been our most successful competition in the more that ten years we have been holding an annual competition. The theme seems to have appealed to a large number of poets, and the quality of the entries is high indeed. Several of the poems have touched on the theme of fires, and have been considered for an anthology planned for later this year. Any profits from sales of copies of the anthology will go to assist those who have been badly affected by the Pinery fires.

It's going to be difficult to come up with another theme that works as well as the Transitions theme, that fired up the imaginations of poets all around Australia. It's been great too, to see entries coming from local people I don't already know, and I hope to catch up with some of these poets in the year to come!

As the Competition Secretary, I get the enviable opportunity to read all of the entries, but I don't have the difficult task of having to choose the winners, The joy without the angst, it's a terrific job, that's for sure!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Closing Date is Getting Closer!

Yes, the closing date for the current Adelaide Plains Poets is January 29, just a couple of weeks away. Don't leave it until the last minute, and lose out, get your entry in soon. The postie is still bringing me some lovely entries, but who know which the judge may choose.

If you love writing poetry, but you've never entered a poetry competition before, why not make 2016 the year you start putting your work out there, and try your talents against poets from all around Australia. I made some writing related resolutions at News Eve, and the commitment has excited me and I'm loving the new things I'm writing now!

So the theme for this competition is Transitions, and wow, the responses to the theme have been interesting, that's for sure. Our group likes to have themes for our competitions that can bring in a wide range of ideas about where a poet can go. This is good for the judge to read, and think about, and it's great for me too, because I'm the person who gets to read the entries first!

Reading poetry is a great way to spend a quiet morning, seeing what other poets around our country are thinking, and writing poetry about. Good stuff for sure. I've already begun thinking about the next competition, regarding the possible theme, about the closing date (change the time of year maybe?), and about ideas for encouraging more entries, in particular the student entries.

If poetry is going to keep on growing in Australia, it's important that we can get children interested in bot writing it and reading it. And regarding reading poetry, I'm not just talking about the dead white guys we all started on at school, all those years ago. There are lots of poets who visit schools, and I'm glad about this, and hope it continues.

The joy on the faces of young people when they write a poem, and share it with their class is beautiful! Do you have any thoughts on any of this? I'd love to hear from you it you do ...

Friday, December 4, 2015

When Poetry Takes Over

These past few months seem to be becoming more and more poetic, and I'm excited about it all. My excitement is shaded a little by sadness, but more about that later. Why has poetry been happening more? I'll tell you all about it.

I've involved in a group - Adelaide Plains Poets. I'm the President of this group, and have been since the group began, back in 2004. The stated role of the group, according to our constitution is to further the interest in poetry of those living in the Adelaide Plains. The group has certainly been involved in doing that, off and on ever since.

Over the years members have come and gone, moving away, getting a job, losing interest, having other things take precedence and so on. Fortunately, I've been able to maintain, or in fact increase, my passion for poetry. At the moment, as well as being the President of Adelaide Plains Poets, I am also a member of the writing group - North Eastern Writers Inc, I am one of two co-coordinator of the poetry reading group Gawler Poets at the Pub which meets once a month.

I have also just finished  presenting four workshop sessions about poetry as part of a Pathways to Success program. Adelaide Plains Poets has run an annual national poetry competition since the beginning, and entries are coming to me in the mail most days now because I am the competition secretary as well as President. On a more personal note, I have also recently submitted a poetry collection to a publisher, which was accepted and will be published next year.

Prose is there in my life too. The Adelaide Plains Poets has a splinter group that meets once a week at the same hotel the Gawler Poets at the Pub event is held - P/A Hotel (Prince Albert) in Gawler. This writing group held its first Festival in the middle of the year - Gawler Festival of Words. This Festival was a success will be held every year now. We are already busy planning the Gawler Festival of Words for 2016.

I am also the Editor of the Mallala Crossroad Chronicle, which comes out once a month. This newsletter for people living in the town of Mallala is a spot where I can sometimes publish a poem if I wish to. I don't do this too often, but every now and then it seems relevant to other things published in the Chronicle, so I do.

So it's a busy life for me, but an enjoyable and satisfying one. Writing is my major love, and I am glad to be able to have lots of writing in my life. This is probably a part of the reason why I love another of my roles in life at the moment, that of Writer in Residence at the Poetic Justice Cafe and Gallery. I attend the cafe twice a week, to sit and chat with people, talking about whatever people want to talk about, life, writing, art, food. It's a lovely friendly place, and I am very much enjoying being there.

I will be running some poetry events in the cafe soon, poetry readings outside of the cafe where there are tables and chairs, that would be great for some poetry.

That's it for now, I'm loving my life!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Whether the Weather be Good ...

Surely the poet with access to the outdoors will never be lacking in topics to write about. Personally, I certainly find much poetic inspiration in what Nature gives, from the soft and fluffy clouds making fantastical shapes in the sky, to the angry lashing rains and storms that excite and revitalise the venturesome spirit! Lightning strikes, and the mind springs to life.

The transitions of the seasons bring interest too. At the moment, our relatively new mandarin tree is doing interesting things. There were the lovely flowers, and today, when I inspected the little tree in the morning, I noticed there are fewer petals on the tree, and where flowers had been there are now tiny little green blobs. I'm hoping and assuming these little blobs will become fruit. Super fresh mandarins plucked from the tree seems like a wonderful thing as the current Spring transitions into Summer!

If you've never thought about the weather as a topic to write poetry about, perhaps today is the day to start?! From a pithy little 3 line haiku, to a heartfelt 14 line sonnet and beyond, Weather can be a fine topic to consider when you next want to write a poem! I've written many haiku about the things I see outside, some of them fine, some just of interest to me perhaps, but either way, still worth writing.

That's another important thing to remember when writing poetry - not every first attempt should be expected to be perfect. We creative writing people can be so unkind to ourselves at times. Do violin players berate themselves for every off note played, and vow to give up the violin? Or do they keep on with the practice and get better and better? Of course they keep on with it, the good ones do, anyway.

Aspire to become a poetic maestro, and write and write and write!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Competition Closed!

Many thanks to all of the lovely poets who visited this site and entered the 2014/2015 poetry Competition on the theme of 'Climate'. There have been some interesting interpretations of the theme, and I am excited when I think about which poems and poets will be chosen by the judge.

The winners will be announced at the March Gawler Poets at the Pub event, which will take place on 29 March at the P/A Hotel (Prince Albert Hotel) in Gawler. I hope the winning poets can be there and read their own winning poems, and collect their prize, and I hope many others will be there to find out what the judge thought of the competition, and the competition entries received.

This competition received a reasonable number of entries - not the most ever, but certainly not the least ever, either. The theme obviously appealed to some poets, judging by their well thought out and passionate entries. I hope they can maintain that passion whenever they think on the theme, and do their bit to further the cause of assisting in slowing climate change.

The winning names and at least some of the winning entries will be posted on this blog after the winners have been announced. I hope many of you come back after the end of March to see who won and with which poem, and what the Judge thought too.

Many thanks to poets all around Australia, you're all wonderful!