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.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Poetry Competition Adelaide Plains Poets

So, today is the day for the Adelaide Plains Poets annual Poetry Competition to go out into the world. The entry form and guidelines are written and are here on this blog. They will be sent out to writing centres and groups around Australia over the next weeks. 

The theme for this competition came in part from several different people. The initial idea that led to the theme of 'My Passion', came from an idea from a wanna be politician. This person suggested 'Sport' as a theme. This was rejected as being too narrow, and not interesting enough to poets. We pride ourselves on having themes for our competitions that are broad enough to appeal to creative people with amazing ideas!

On thinking further on the theme though, and having listened to the heartfelt way the proposer spoke of his passion for his particular sport, the idea of passion crept into the possible mix for the theme for this competition. Creative people are passionate people, with passions for life, for words, for Nature, for life!

So, another conversation, this time with the lovely person involved in supporting our competition for the 2012/2013 year. We spoke of Passion, our passions for life, and so the idea of 'My Passion' came into being, with the promise of support again from the 5th Element Unearthed, if 'My Passion' becomes the theme for the 2013/2014 competition.

This idea was put to members of the Adelaide Plains Chapter and Verse group, and held to be a fine idea, and so the decision was made! 

If you have a grand passion in your life and you want to share it with the world, put pen to paper and write it down, then send your entry in! The entry form and guidelines are on the right hand side of this page, copy and paste as required. I'll be waiting for your entry/ies!

Many thanks to Tom and Maxine from 5th element unearthed, I love the passion you both put into your lives! (I love your sublime extra virgin olive oil too, by the way!)

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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.

John Malone