Third Prize Poets Meet Politics International Poetry Competition
July 11, 2018
I've done a lot of submitting new poems this year. 15 of those submissions (usually there are three or four poems in each submission) I've heard back from, 11 declined, 4 acceptances. And that doesn't count the manuscript submissions, all of which have been rejected. It's hard work and there are way more rejections than I'd like, but sometimes it pays off. One of submission I made earlier in the year was to Hungry Hill Writing for their annual poetry competition; there were prizes and the winning and shortlisted poems are anthologised.
I actually wrote "Me too" for a Rattle Poetry competition in response to a news item (pretty big one, wasn't it, the #MeToo movement!). The poem originated in an exercise in one of Joanna Preston's poetry workshops (I've written about those before). We had to choose a line of poetry -- I chose a line from Maggie Smith's poem "Good Bones" -- and then you had to end each line of your new poem with a word from the original line -- sort of like a acrostic poem in reverse. The actual name for this kind of poem is called 'a golden shovel'. I was pretty pleased with the result. Rattle in the US didn't choose it (one of my rejections) so I sent it to Hungry Hill in Ireland. It came third.
And another poem "The same day we discovered the existence of a new human organ", basically about human ignorance, was shortlisted in the same competition. That's the way it goes. Some judges like your style. This judge was Emily Wills, UK poet. I haven't been placed in a competition out of New Zealand before and I can tell you it's a pretty nice feeling to think someone outside your normal sphere of existence might enjoy something you've written. I'll take that.