Sunday, January 29, 2017

Poetry Says - First Episode of 2017

Finally a new Poetry Says episode - I have been hanging out to hear Aussie voices talking about poetry in a long form interview.

Though I do respect the fact that Alice
a) does all this work for free
b) keeps an insanely regular schedule.

So much respect to Alice for giving us this, the first Poetry Says Podcast of 2017.

Ep. 31 Robin Wallace-Crabbe: ‘Art can be a lot of fun’ – Poetry Says:

Post It Note Poetry 2017 - Participant guidelines

So the time is nearly upon us and I think we are entering our 4th year of the project.  

Only 2 days to go.

February 1st is the day it all begins.  If you are new to Post It Note Poetry, check out Co-founder Adam Byatt’s original post here

The general gist of it is:
  1. Give yourself permission to write poetry, badly if need be
  2. Write out that poem on a post-it note and photograph it
  3. Put it on twitter with the #pinp17
  4. Do this every day of February (if you can)
I credit Post It Note Poetry for getting me back into writing poetry seriously(thanks Adam and Jodi).  

You are posting a poem a day so there’s not really time for agonizing over things too much.  There’s no expectations that you write like a Poet Laureate.  Hell there’s no expectation that you write good poetry.  

Free yourself from the nagging self critic, the inner poetry snob that says -  "don’t bother, you’ll never be Les Murray or Dorothy Porter".

The only real rules are that the poem must fit on a Post-It Note ( and even then some folks get creative with the concept of post it note).

I will maintain a curated twitter feed here.   I will add twitter posts that have the Hashtag (#pinp17) above. 

If Twitter isn't your thing then we do maintain a Facebook Group here.

Helpful Advice:
If you are new to poetry try an English Language Haiku or an American Cinquain.  Both of these provide a form that’s not too rigid.  Haiku are good for training your observational skills too.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

TS Eliot Prize Winner - Jacob Polley for Jackself

$20.75 Booktopia
$19.72 Bookworld 
Jacob Polley has taken out the 2016 TS Eliot Prize for his work Jackself.

Jackself is the fourth collection from one of Britain's finest poets, and sees Jacob Polley at the height of his powers. 
In one of the most original books of poetry to appear in the last decade, Jackself spins a kind of 'fictionalized autobiography' through nursery rhymes, riddles and cautionary tales, and through the many 'Jacks' of our folktale, legend, phrase and fable - everyman Jacks and no one Jacks, Jackdaw, Jack-O-Lantern, Jack Sprat, Cheapjack and Jack Frost.
 At once playful and terrifying, lyric and narratively compelling, Jackself is an unforgettable exploration of an innocence and childhood lost in the darker corners of Reiver country and of English folklore, and once more shows Polley as one of the most remarkable imaginations at work in poetry today

Not sure if its your thing?  Here's Jacob reading one of the poems from the collection on youtube.

If you want to check out a write up of the prize I suggest you checkout this article by Claire Armitsted at the Guardian.

Note:  Bookworld have free shipping till the 23rd of January, check out the post here for details.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Slow start to the year and Free Shipping at Bookworld

Astute readers may have noticed the general lack of posting- at least I hope you have.

The heat combined with house renovations and a general feeling of wanting to do absolutely nothing has combined to produce no poetry reading or writing whatsoever.

I am not particularly worried about this.  I think it is good to give yourself a creative break.

So until next week, imagine me working out how to mix traditional lime render.

Note also that Angus and Robertson Bookworld have got a free shipping deal.  Just use the coupon code Summer17.

I recommend that you check out the new Penguin Modern Poets which I bought myself for Christmas.

Bookworld Free Shipping T&C's

 Free shipping is available on all orders. Promotion is valid on Angus & Robertson Bookworld; offer valid until Midnight 23 Janury 2017

 To redeem offer, enter voucher code SUMMER17 at checkout and follow the prompts to complete your transaction. 

Voucher cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions. Offer only valid at Visit website for full terms and conditions. Angus & Robertson Bookworld reserves the right to cancel or alter the promotion should it be deemed necessary. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A poem for the new year - Some Call Me Raven

If you are subscribed to the blog via email you would have already received this poem as a Christmas present ( lucky you).

This poem was one of my experiments in having more fun in my poetry.  I have this tendency to think that Poetry is all very, very serious (a pattern of thinking I am endeavouring to change) so I tried to be a bit more theatrical ? in my approach this time.  You'll notice this particularly if you listen to the audio below.

I have made a tentative agreement with myself to publish more poems on the blog this year so...

Please enjoy.

Some call me Raven

others Crow.
A god before the slow decline
to memory and thought. I brought
good omens before bad.
Will I rise again? No.
All things must

You judge.
Unkind or murderous,
which is worse?  Forever cursed;
bearer of unwanted news
or to be thought unkind
for all I’ve done?

This unwanted guest
has cleaned the mess of a thousand
bloodied fields. Is that it?
The mud and gore sticks? Am I
the fetish for your hate
and foolishness?


the vulture does the same -
perhaps you pity his ugliness?

I don’t sing
sweetly.  I’m harsh. Frequently
I disappoint you but to say
I lash you with my screams? An obscene
reaction to my call.  Straight spoken truth
never suited you.

Call me cruel?
You pluck the eyes of lambs.

Hypocrite -
their ribs were mutton chops,
lips and arshole spam,
before I came along.

Those muddy squatters under your eaves,
those cooing vermin that breed
and shit everywhere. Nothing to say?
No one ever thought it romantic
to feed the crow.
I’ll build my nest in trees
as far from you
as I can go.

Is it the colour?
The villain always wears black.
If I had a golden bill, I’d be more
pleasing to the eyes? No?
As I recall they ended
up in pies.

I will never lead a nation.  March
golden at the head of men.  Grace
stately coats of arms again. The
harm’s done.

The best I can hope
settled here on this branch
is to herald the oncoming
autumn and the darkness
of things.

All fall.

All fall -
more so those of us
with wings.

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