Friday, 9 July 2010

Mslexia Poetry Competition

It's that time of year again - time to assemble some poems and spruce them up for a beauty contest in the form of  Mslexia's annual Poetry Competition.
This year's judge is Vicki Feaver, a poet whose work I admire very much. Although she was interested in poetry from a young age, she only started writing in earnest and publishing her work later in life  - comparatively speaking - in her mid-thirties. Unlike some female poets, she brings her experience as a woman very potently into her poetry, I really appreciate and enjoy this aspect of her work, and take permission from it when I'm writing. There's a vulnerability to the way she writes, about some very dark subjects. Yet in the vulnerability, there is a streak which comes over as doggedly determined and tenacious. For example, listen to her reading her poem Music and God. I can't stop myself from crying when I hear it. And as for the ending, well I won't spoil it, but the first time I heard it, it came as quite a shock, and still makes my hair stand on end.
So, which poems to send to her? They will have to have legs, to run past the initial sifters, and make it to the final batch that she'll get to see. The cost to enter this competition is relatively cheap - £5 for 3 poems, so how many little batches will I select - one? two? three?!! Last year one of my poems was a runner-up, a very small poem, picked out by Ruth Padel. It was such a wonderful, thrilling experience, I'd love to repeat it, so here goes.....

1 comment:

  1. Congratulation on being a runner up last year! I just recently came across Feaver because she was judging the competition...have been reading The Handless Maiden - i understand what you mean about permission; it made me see that often I'm skirting around or scratching the surface in my writing...rather than diving in, i love what ted hughes said about her writing being like etching on ice over shocking waters. Good luck this year!