Eleven poets met at The Venue on April 4th, with Ama in the chair, the optional theme being “Sea”. Visual aids were brought – a ship in a bottle, two tiny model boats, a Babushka doll.
By an extraordinary coincidence, two poems in the first half were inspired by ships that were sunk in 1945: David C’s with strongly effective use of repetition (story here) and Ama’s with a personal perspective (story here). David’s second poem was set on the Cornish coast and Ama’s second on a Maltese beach. This post’s title is taken from Paul R’s poem of dos and don’ts. His second dealt with the profound physiological connection we humans have with the sea. As Annette remarked, we do learn a lot here!
Both of Mark’s poems were located on the Kentish coast, and both of Morag’s were concerned with Scottish islands. Terry read an untitled sea-poem and “Esperance”, set in a town on Western Australia’s southern coast. Ewa took her inspiration from the Somerset coast with two short poems, one witty, one poignant, read in English and in Polish. Annette’s poem “A Pearl” certainly had marine connections …
Caroline was one of several poets not well enough to attend, but she sent a lovely ekphrastic sea-poem which Ama read on her behalf.
Poems on other subjects included a beautifully-constructed poem by Karin in the form of a series of questions to a Babushka doll. Karin also read a devotional poem. Annette’s “To Be” was a delicious flight of imagination, and ‘other’ Paul read two imaginative poems. Andrew read “Dorset Sand” from his 2000 collection “The Canvas Stretcher” and a poem about Sven Berlin.
I have booked the same room at The Venue for next month. We’ll be meeting on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May. Chris will be in the chair and his topic is “Travelling home”.
Warm congratulations to Jinny, who has won second prize in The Interpreter’s House competition with her poem Transition. The judge, Jonathan Edwards, wrote “For much of the judging process this was in first place, and dividing it from the eventual winner was a difficult task indeed. This is a clever, subtle and moving poem which says much more than its fourteen lines. The experience of reading is initially suspense, as one wonders what the list of items in the octave add up to; the revelation in the ending sends us straight back to the start, those same items now invested with an enormous emotional impact. As with the first prize winner, I’m interested in the use of ideas in this poem, the way that the tone of the opening two lines of the sestet are so different to the list of objects in the rest of the poem, adding great weight and significance. This is accessible writing which packs a great punch, engaging the brain, and then the heart.”
Jinny and Rachael were invited to discuss their poetry and read in Hilda’s Lounge, a new blog she’s running in a kistch 70’s setting. See it here.
Wendy, as one of a U3A writing group, entered some poems in the Bath Literary Festival recently, the Mid-Somerset senior section, and won a cup.
Ama, Sara, Morag and Jinny were among the guest poets at a splendid evening in East Coker recently. Many thanks to David C for inviting us. We performed a first draft of our new themed sequence, “Second Skin”, which includes/will include work by Rachael and Jo.
The Wells Festival of Literature writing competitions are now open.
This year there are three prizes for the winners, £500, £200, £100, in all three categories plus the Hilly Cansdale local poetry prize of £100 and the Wyvern local short story prize, also £100. Entries are open to anyone throughout the world.
For the SHORT STORY COMPETITION, entries may be on any subject and should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words in length. ALISON MOORE will judge the 2016 short story competition and present the prizes.
Entries in the POETRY COMPETITION may be on any subject but may not exceed 40 lines in length. GRETA STODDART will judge the 2016 Poetry Competition and present the prizes
For the STORY FOR CHILDREN COMPETITION they may be on any subject but be suitable for the age range 10-16 We require the first three chapters or 30 pages (whichever is the shortest) plus a synopsis of no more than two sides. JEREMY DE QUIDT will judge this competition and also present the prizes.
DEADLINE FOR ALL ENTRIES IS 30th JUNE 2016
For further details and entry rules http://www.wellsfestivalofliterature.org.uk
I’m a bad first-drafter. I don’t know quite what the percentage would be, but … two-thirds of my first drafts have almost nothing to do with the final drafts.
– C.K.Williams, interviewed in Poetry Review winter 2015.