Friday, December 19, 2008

Poetry Prizes

My uncharacteristic silence the last week or two has its usual reasons...alcohol and Christmas. After managing around half a dozen parties since my last post, its amazing I've still got any of the braincells required for writing this occasional blog. Poetry prizes come in all shapes and sizes and I'm generally no fan of them, after all its hardly a competitive sport is it?

Yet I have to say I can only applaud the innovation of the online poetry slam that Poetry Republic have set up in support of the Mines Advisory Group charity. Judging is by the entrants - and the winner will be announced as part of the "not part of" Manchester International Festival fringe next summer.

And although, as an unsuccessful entrant, I should be a little down today after not making the shortlist for Salt Publishing's inaugural Crashaw Prize, I'm far more intrigued by the six shortlisted writers, who'll have their books published internationally, and knowing Salt, very handsomely, in the next few months. A quick Google search shows that these are all poets with a little bit of a track record; a sign perhaps that the "slush pile" is not made up the mad and hopeless, but the hardworking, the worthy, the progressive, the comming. From my own perspective, even the discipline to enter the competition - i.e. putting together a 70 page collection - was a valuable one.

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