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.


Shelley said...

Hello Carolyn - you pose an interesting question in this post ...

"As the judge, do you look for technical excellence? Or heart, an excellent new idea or style of poetry?"

I am sure judging is as individual as writing, but as judge of your 2015 competition and others, I can only say that it has to be a combination of all the qualities you mention. Innovation will always take a judge's eye, especially in a themed competition where there may be a certain "sameness" about many entries. Something out of left field - perhaps treatment of the subject from a different angle - will capture attention.

Technical excellence is important because winning poetry must be good quality. Heart is not enough - but technical excellence with no heart is pointless.

Above all, and after meeting the necessary criteria, a winning poem must have "wow factor". It is an overused expression perhaps, but in some ways it defines the undefinable ... that certain "something" that makes a poem stand out from the rest.

When a judge finds that, he/she finds the winner!

Congratulations on another successful competition and sincere commendation to you for your hard work and diligence in fostering our craft of Australian poetry.

Shelley Hansen

Carolyn Cordon said...

Excellent words from you Shelley, you are certainly well qualified to make these intelligent and interesting comments. I wonder what other people think about this idea? Feel free to leave a comment here.