Saturday, December 15, 2018

Adelaide Plains Poets Next Poetry Competition

Well, 2018 is almost finished, just a week or so of shopping, then Christmas, then New Years Eve, and then Bang! it's 2019. The theme for the 2018 poetry competition was a big one, "Truth". We received a wide range of responses to this theme, and the Judge chose from that wide range, with many differing versions of Truth in his poems to hunt for winners through.

The theme for the competition this year is going to be another big one, and the competition secretary is looking forward to reading a wide variety of responses to our theme again. One of the highlights for the competition secretary, when bringing in the mail, once the entry forms and guidelines are sent out all around Australia, is to read the new entries as they arrive!

So enough about the past, now onto the present and then future. The theme for the Adelaide Plains Poets Poetry Competition for 2019 is "Location"! So you can write about your favourite state, country, or simply your favourite place to sit and think! If I could enter this competition, (I can't, because I am the competition secretary), I would perhaps write a poem about where I live, my property, or the closest town, or perhaps the closest big town, where I often go because my writing group meetings are held there.

Do you have a favourite location? A skiing spot perhaps, or favourite and best place to fish? Think about it, put on your poetry hat, and get writing about the theme of Location! After the New Year, the entry form and guidelines will be posted to this blog, and you can get serious about what poem/s you might send to this competition.

Entries are not being accepted yet, so don't send in anything. Any entries received before the end of the year will not be allowed, they will be sent back to you unopened.

Anyway, think about location. Maybe about your cat's favourite place to be, or how your dog gets excited when it realises where you are taking it in the car ... Or do you have an interesting Real Estate experience on the theme of location, location, location? Whatever it is, looking forward to reading it next year!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Adelaide Plains Poets 'Truth' Poetry Competition

Adelaide Plains Poets Poetry Competition – Judge’s Report 2018

The winners of this competition were announced during the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words, as the penultimate event of the Festival.The Competition Judge, Alex Robertson, read his report (below). Some of the winning Open Section poets were present and their winning entries were read.

'This year there were nearly 90 entries in the open section and smaller (under 20 each) for the secondary and primary sections. There were a range of formats dealing with the topic with varying degrees of success presenting the theme of Truth.

We had the entry from young and old providing perspectives from aged and some naive experiences… There were perspectives from family violence, prison terms, political and current affairs viewpoints as well as traditional ballad formats. Interestingly, whilst politics featured in a couple of poems, the topic of relationships (family violence, unequal associations and love interests) were high on the agenda with many poems in the open section dealing with those concerns. The entries that piqued the interest of the judge were those that had a tale to tell, were true to form given the format of the sub-genre of poetry, and left a resounding impression after the piece was read. 

For the winners, whilst unique stories to tell featured highly, there was not a discrimination on rhyming verse or older formats.  All of the place getters and highly commended had tried and true devices, imagery and/or other features which set them apart from other entries. Those who didn’t “make the cut” were perhaps a little vague in their description, not being precise enough in their ability to label their content effectively. Sticking to the theme was also a tricky matter, with some entries not showing enough of a direct relationship to tackle the theme of truth in their work. A minor situation for some authors didn’t suitably break up their content into different stanzas.

The primary section had a clear winner, with content talking about a leader, a highly descriptive piece, revealing the identity in the final lines.  Second place recipient spoke of a lion’s truthfulness, using imagery to personify this big cat’s traits. Third place drew on personal experience, looking upon reflection – a moment of indecision and black thoughts as opposed to the brightness and colour of a normal personality. 

The secondary section drew a complexity of emotions. The first-place getter looked at friendship as an issue where in today’s society it is difficult to do. The second place looked at a brief but effective poem, considering a proposal. The third winning entry considered emotion as a battleground in the theme of war.

The Open section had one outstanding piece that showed the bleak but necessary topic of understanding family violence. This was a deep understanding on a very complex issue. Second place somewhat shared the domestic theme of first place but put it into the view of first person, considering the issue of stolen children from a child’s perspective. The winner of third place had a jovial tale of whether a grandfather told the truth in a tale of rhyming verse, allowing reflection at the end of the poem.

All in all, there were tales and truths to be told, many effectively done on a range of topics. It is pleasing to see that the standard set was very high, especially in the open section. The theme was a worthy one, allowing personal experience and imagination to flow and give the judge much to think about in a Twenty-first Century setting. 

Congratulations to all who entered and for those who didn’t place, there is always next year.'

Winning Poem Open Section Adelaide Plains Poets 'Truth'

Pulling Strings by Cathy Hinder
His circular conversations, a word salad ensemble,
a deliberately designed instrument of concussion to
an abused, bruised mind, as it slowly implodes,
diminishing the ability to focus, or foster self-worth.
Manipulated and controlled,
independent thinking insidiously erased by
covertly pulling strings,
spinning an alternate distorted version of reality.
Unfathomable, akin to psychological pain on steroids.
Cunning lies, shaming, blaming,
intuition rendered redundant,
his twisted truth eroding her fragile core.
Tip-toeing through hair triggered landmines,
aware, always anticipating
the next round, the inevitable explosion
of toxic words, warfare and inexplicable terror.
The last shreds of sanity collapse
as another shattered woman
slips silently into statistical oblivion ...
collateral damage from a private war at home.
Sensational news headlines, broadcasting crimes of passion.
Commercial interests embellish, sexualize and distort facts.
An audience of self-appointed judges and jurors, aghast,
“Why didn’t she just leave”?
Those asking that brutal question
uninformed, uneducated, unwilling to accept the truth,
seek to blame the victim,
“It must be her fault”.
The defendant smirks, entitled, triumphant,
deflects responsibility, holds no accountability,
a player winning a game ...
leaving no whisper of forensic evidence.
The truth, adjourned in an empty Courtroom,
awaits verdict, seeking justice while
details are dissected amongst the chosen few
on a deadly yet invisible crime, not one of them previously knew

Monday, July 23, 2018

Winners Will Be Announced

The judge has made his decision, and the winners of the Adelaide Plains Poets poetry competition will be announced on 29 July, so that's next Sunday. I know who the winners are now, and am looking forward to the big day!

This will be a part of the final day of the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words, where there will be lunch at the P/A Hotel, then the announcement of the winners, then te reading of the winning entries and then the usual Gawler Poets at the Pub event, where poets from all over can come along, put their name down in the book, pay their gold coin donation and then they'll have up to three minutes to read their creative words!

I love poetry, creative writing, I love being with my friends and I love this hotel where the friendship is warm and the coffee wonderful! I'm told the cold drinks available are pretty good too. Lunch there is worth checking out as well, fine food indeed!

Monday, July 9, 2018

'Truth' Poetry Competition entries have closed

So the entry date is passed now, and the competition secretary is waiting for a few more entries to roll in with the post. On Thursday the judge will receive the entries that have come in so far. Numbers in the Open section were lower than the last competition, but the entries on the two student sections were higher.

The theme of 'Truth' was a broad one again, and poets have taken some very different angles on the theme. It will be interesting what the judge ultimately awards as the winners, but there will be a special prize if entries deemed as important by the competition don't attact similar recognition from the judge.

Such are the benefits for being both the competition secretary and the president. Some themes will always attract different thoughts, depending on gender and lived experience. There may be a collection published if sufficient entries are likely to fit into a particular theme. Talks have begun on this issue, and will continue once the judging and awards are done.

Speaking of the awards 'being done', the winners will be announced on the final day of the Adelaide Plains Festival of Words, just before the running of the Gawler Poets at the Pub. The competition secretary will contact all of the award winners, once they are known, so they can come along to collect their certificate and/or cheque.

The Adelaide Plains Festival of Words event will be at the P/A hotel in Gawler on 29th of July, 1.30pm. Whether you're a winner or not, you will be able to hear the winning poems read on the day, by the winner, if they are available, or by another poet if not. It should be a fun afternoon!