Sunday, January 27, 2013
First Gawler Poets at the Pub for Year
Great work Martin, I love the way you've taken on poetry and shaken it up and swished it with theatrical dust! Well done. I was pleased to be there on the day, assisting in a tiny way to help this performance come to life in front of us at the Prince Albert Hotel!
I think your performance added a little extra to everyone's performances on the day. It wasn't the biggest number of people we've ever had, but all of the people reading their poetry did a fine job with it. It was great to see a new person come along to see what it's all about. I hope she'll be back with us again, maybe reading her own poetry...
And it was lovely to catch up with Colleen Sweeney, one of my dearest poetic friends. It's been a long time but I'm so glad to have you there with us all!
Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great day, and I look forward to seeing you all again next month. Same place, but different time.
Martin Johnson is holding a Fringe event 40ks Out of Gawler. His show starts at our usual time, 2 pm, we're starting two hours earlier - 12 pm, and we'll finish up just before Martin Johnson starts. So if you want to take part in both events, you can! Just let the hotel know beforehand 85221865
I hope to see all of my poet friends there on the day!
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Judges comments 2012 'Crossroads' competition
Cross roads: Judge’s Speech
Among the almost seventy poems submitted by adults, nine stood out. Two --- ‘Sticks and Bones’(by Heather Lunney NSW) and ‘Atticus Forby’ (by Terrence Mohr SA)--- dealt with individuals struggling with identity. Both rhymed and were fine poems. I certainly commend them, as I do ‘Blackberry Pies’(by Beverly Lello VIC) and ‘The Wrong Woman’(by Gaylene Carbis VIC) which dealt with cars. The most curious poem, also commended, was ‘Wystan Hughes walks past the Musee de Beaux Arts and drops into a nearby blues club’ [after W H Auden] (by Mike Hopkins SA), an accomplished, witty and entertaining piece which Auden would have appreciated.
Now we get down to the Highly Commended poems of which there are two. ‘Pandora’s Box’ (by Shelley Hansen QLD) is a thought provoking piece applied skillfully to the set topic with an uplifting ending. It is, if anything, an Ode to Hope. ‘Crossroads’ (by Janet Upcher TAS) is a tender, sensitive poem with some original imagery. It depicts that moment that all parents and grandparents know when the child becomes an adult stepping out into the adult world. It is a time of celebration and loss. Conventionally rhymed, it is beautifully and achingly realized.
In sharp contrast we have one of the two equal prizewinners ‘do you take this man?’ (by David Campbell VIC) which reminds me of the poetry of Anna Walwicz .It has a strong narrative drive mingled with stream of consciousness. It is hot and scarifying. This poem hit me from the very start. I knew it would be a finalist. It makes powerful reading.
The other equal first prize winner is ‘The Water Tower, Tailem Bend’ (by Meryl McDougall SA). I have a soft spot for water towers though the writer would not have known this. It is a very accomplished poem which melds current concern for the river with the legend of Ngurunderi with which I am not familiar though the story is sketched in the poem. It is an environmental piece with some clever imagery. The poet maintains full control over its fifteen rhyming stanzas. It never falters.
Now to secondary schools. Of the nine submissions, one stood out and it’s worthy of First Prize. ‘An Offer Not to be Refused’(by Talia Walker NSW) deals with that crossroad moment when one is offered his or her first cigarette. It is the sinewy, conniving, persuasive voice of temptation with which we are all familiar . There are some clever, original images in this macabre, sarcastic piece. I loved it!
There were only two primary entries neither special in any way.
I enjoyed reading and judging these entries and want to thank the organisers for giving me the opportunity. To all those who submitted, the best of wishes in your future writing endeavours.