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.



Saturday, March 12, 2016

Poetic Thoughts - a Ballad about the Terzanelle

I currently do a poetry workshop on Sunday mornings, at a lovely cafe in Gawler called Poetic Justice Cafe Gallery. today, the poetic subject I was telling the attendees about was the Terzanelle, using this person's website: GryphonSmith
I don't know this person, but I liked what they wrote about the form, so borrowed their words. I then went of to have a go at writing my own terzanelle poem, but sadly is is still not complete. I only have a few more lines to add, and hope to get it done before our next workshop, next weekend.

In the meantime I have written a poem about this dastardly poetic form. The poem I wrote is a ballad, and I'm quite happy with it. So happy in fact that I am going to put it on this blog, and give a link to it on the Sunday poetry group's Facebook page so that members of the group can come here to have a look at it, if they wish. This is the poem at the moment - it may change with further thought, but I'm relatively happy with it at the moment.

Dare You Try It?

Bloody hell, the terzanelle,
what a tricky poetic form.
The ballad, that’s an easy one -
traditionally, the norm.

Mention poetry, ballad’s the one
comes readily to mind.
But terzanelle, I’ll tell you now
is a very different kind.

From the villanelle, and something else
with an even tricker name,
the terzanelle could drive you mad
in this poetry writing game.

But if you try, and get it right,
oh, what a glorious thing!
A poet of such talent & skill

will make our glad hearts sing!


I'm not saying this is a wonderful ballad, or that I deserve a medal for attempting to write a terzanelle, I am just happy to help spread the word about the wonders of poetry, in all of it's many forms!

So have you ever tried to write a terzanelle? I'd love to hear about it, if you have!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Poetry Competition - Transitions theme

The competition for 2015/16 is closed to entries now, but that certainly doesn't mean poetry isn't happening where I a! The judge of the competition has the entries now, and is busily reading the entries, and picking his lists of winners. We had a grand entry of exceptionally great poems, and I don't envy the judge Sean Wright his task - so many good poems, which is the best?

Sean will come up with the answers though, and I am so looking forward to hearing who are the winners for this competition. I certainly liked many of these poems, but I didn't try to choose any winners this time - Sean and I are both poets, yes, but we may prefer different poems. Life lived, poetry read, how you feel at the time. All of these can impact of which particular poems you may like.

As the judge, do you look for technical excellence? Or heart, an excellent new idea or style of poetry. These things are all up to the judge of the competition. Our judges, and we've had many over the years of this competition, have been left to make up their own mind, with few instructions, beyond picking first, second and third for each section, and highly commended and commended as the judge sees fit.

The winners won't be made public until the end of March, when they will be announced at the Gawler Poets at the Pub Poetry Reading event on 27 March 2016 at the Prince Albert Hotel in Gawler. I will know who the winners are before then, so I can let the winners know in advance, with the hope they will be able to be there for the announcement, and also so I will have the relevant winners' certificates.

These exciting things are all a part of the fun and thrills of running a poetry competition. The money for this competition is quite reasonable, and the joy of the winners when they accept their prize is always lovely to see. And I particularly love to hear the winning poems read by the winning poets, if this is possible.

I an a sucker for these feel good moments in life, and I intend running this annual and national poetry competition for as long as I can, with my great team of group members from Adelaide Plains Poets! Many thanks to the team, and many thanks to the poets all around Australia who have taken part in this, and other poetry competitions Adelaide Plains Poets have held.

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!