Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The Year Just Gone
I thoroughly enjoyed myself when I was doing my Community Foodie work, helping Primary School students discover the delights of vegetables, and teaching them about poetry, using vegetables as prompts for their writing. Lots of fun, and it was great to be able to combine my love of teaching creative writing to others, and also helping others make better choices about healthy eating. Vegetable Victory is a triumph of Poetic Vegetables! Vegetable Victory
Other fine moments have been when I've written a new poem, and felt blessed to have been able to pen the words. This happens far more often when I'm writing often, not surprisingly. The more one writes, the more one writes well. I think they go together.
I don't ever 'Wait for my muse'. Instead I get down there and write, and if I'm lucky, my muse drops by for a visit. I don't think the muse is interested in me if I'm not trying to write well. Do you agree with me on this?
I'd love to read what you think about this idea, please leave a comment.
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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.