Archive for the ‘New poets series’
Every year, Friendly Street Poets holds a competition for new poets (without a previously published collection). Submissions are reviewed by an independent judge, who picks three poets to be published in a single volume. The winners were announced at the final meeting of 2012 by judge Steve Brock. They are, in alphabetical order, Kate Alder, Jelena Dinic and Indigo Eli. We are very much looking forward to the publication of New Poets 18 later in 2013.
Kate Alder lives on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula surrounded by hills, vineyards and farms. She works as a Child Care Worker which allows her to tell stories, engage in conversations and play with language for a living. In previous lives she has worked for a Trade Union, a Washing Machine Manufacturer and a solicitor and as a housemaid in a hotel on the Isle of Skye. Kate has dabbled in dance and dragon boat racing, pottery and painting. She has sung in choirs and has always had a healthy interest in written and spoken words. 9 years ago, she picked up a Friendly Street flyer in a Paradise Pizza Bar and has been reading and performing her poetry at Friendly Street and elsewhere ever since.
Jelena came from Serbia in 1993 during the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of SA and is now married with two children. She works with her husband in their travel business and lives in the Piccadilly Valley of the Adelaide Hills where the nights are very peaceful after a long day in the city. She currently teaches Serbian in the Serbian Ethnic School, edits a poetry corner for the Serbian Voice in Melbourne and occasionally reports to Serbian SBS Radio about local art events that take her breath away. She writes in Serbian and English and her articles and poems have appeared in various journals, readers, websites and on street signs. In 2011 she was a Friendly Street mentored poet with Dr. Valerie Volk.
Indigo; n. (1) poet; one who moves and contorts within and without language to speak the unspoken, document intangibilities. (2) a contemporary gatherer, often seen threading poetry, circus, costume, voice and movement into new textures of performance. (3) a dabbler in the romance languages, e.g budgie-squeak. (4) three time Australian Poetry Slam national finalist. (5) co-founding co-director of ‘the nameless project’. (6) one who is afflicted with the unstoppable desire to flirt with moonbeams. (7) the dye in your jeans.
Indigo Eli has an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing. Her poems are published in a growing pulse of pages, including Friendly St. Anthologies 30 through 37.
Friendly Street Poets latest volume in the New Poets series: NEW POETS 15 was launched by esteemed poet: Dr Stephen Brock at the Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide on Thursday 8th April 2010.
Thanks to the South Australian Government, through Arts SA, for their continued support of the Arts in this state and, in particular, Friendly Street Poets and their publishing program.
Thanks to Fox Creek Wines for providing their excellent wines for this launch. Thanks to Wakefield Press for their continuing support of quality poetry publishing in South Australia
In 2009, Jill Jones, Senior Lecturer at the University of Adelaide and nationally acclaimed poet selected previously unpublished manuscripts by poets Louise McKenna, Lynette Arden and Sher’ee Furtak Ellis. FSP Publishing Officer Thom Sullivan edited the book and created New Poets 15.
This latest edition in our famous New Poets series was offically launched at Writers Week on Sunday 28th February at 5.15pm, in the WEST TENT at the Pioneer women’s Memorial Gardens as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts.
Thanks to Wakefield Press for continuing to publish quality poetry books in this state.
Thanks to the Government of South Australia, through Arts SA for continuing to support our publishing program.
At the Tuesday November 3rd Friendly Street meeting the editor of New Poets 15, Tom Sullivan, asked the entrants present to stand up and be congratulated by the Friendly Street Poets community for their skill in creating a manuscript and for having the courage to enter this important publishing competition.
Then he introduced award winning poet and Creative Writing academic from the University of Adelaide, Jill Jones who was our judge this year.
Jill spoke briefly before naming the three manuscripts to be published in New Poets 15
- Lesson in Being Mortal by poet Louise McKenna
- A Pause in the Conversation by poet Lynette Arden
- Natural Intervention by poet Sher’ee Furtak-Ellis
NEW POETS 15 Judge’s report
Making choices amongst these manuscripts involved all the usual difficulties in deciding between the many different approaches, styles, and preoccupations of the poems and how they finally came together in a manuscript that I thought was striking enough, and realised enough, to put forward for the New Poets 15 book. My final list of three was certainly not the same as my initial list of three.
Most of the manuscripts submitted this year dealt with the experiences of relationships, and place, with matters of the heart and the spirit, though there were political and philosophical edges here and there. In terms of address, most poems were either in the lyric or the narrative form, the former in a mostly a singular ‘voice’, and the latter in accessible phrasing and sequence. Of course, I took all these works on their own merits, but did wonder why there was little linguistic experiment in the mix of submissions, considering that experiment and challenge is often the territory of the ‘new’ poet, whether through form or through content, or both.
There were pleasures in these manuscripts, in those that did not make the cut as well as those that did. There was an open-ness, a kind of confessional that resonated; there was immediacy, if not always controlled; there was emotion, some of it too sentimental, but in other poems, emotion worked successfully through language; there was striking imagery; there were honest stabs at using formalist modes, that, even if they did not always come off, showed an engagement with poetry that took it beyond either the ‘cut-up prose’ way of writing or the simplistic thump of too obvious rhyme and metre.
There was a lot of what appeared to be reminiscence and memoir, which was often touching, even courageous, though I sometimes felt the poet was not sure what else to do with it apart from recounting it, that the experience had become so domesticated, so mulled over, that it belonged more in a family album or picture frame than in a poem. We all have memories, life has often been unkind to us, or to our family and friends – and …?
There were a lot of birds in the poems. What is it about poets and birds, I wonder? And a lot of cats, and various other animals.
The task at hand was a tough one. I approached the manuscripts looking beyond just the ‘good poem’ for works that:
• had an element of surprise and freshness in them, whether through imagery, narrative, wit, syntax, or all the resources of form;
• that showed an awareness of how language works for a poet, an idea of style as well as craft, no matter how loose the poet’s own conception of that might be, or how dense or light, open or formed, their work is;
• that showed some awareness of where the poet stood within the ‘new’ and also the traditions, however they conceived these.
I wanted to see poems that were not willed into some kind of concept, but showed evidence of poetry as exploration, thinking as writing, writing as thinking.
Too often poems these days are built around some ‘lesson from my life’, with an inbuilt reveal that is asking the reader (or audience) to go ‘ah’, or ‘yes, of course, that’s the way life is – gosh’. It’s as if this poem really wants you to know that it is directly communicating the beliefs or intentions of the writer/speaker without any ambivalence, and no room for a reader. These can be easy effects to produce, usually relying on a univocal voice (the ‘I’ of poem seeming to also stand for the ‘I’ of its writer), moving to closure, a summing up, a neat tag line. We’ve all done it. The contrived metaphor is often a part of this way of writing, the laboured or obvious symbol.
But, in judging for work that moves beyond this, I was looking for writers interesting in working with, and offering the reader, something more dynamic in language, so that below the last line of the poem something is still happening, that when you read it again something will still be happening for you. In other words, poetry that leaves something for the reader, that is not so overly familiar that it seems same-old same-old, nor so overly strange that it lets nothing and no-one in. As I said before: surprise, freshness!
I also, of course, wanted to see whole works that had some concept of ‘book’ or ‘collection’, not in a narrow thematic or unitary fashion, but which offered the reader the satisfaction of having read something that worked as a whole, and showed that the poet had thought about how to make something that had some ‘wholeness’ to it.
In the end I chose the following three manuscripts, all quite different in tone, form and preoccupation. These were the ones that stayed in the mind, that insisted, the ones that I could not let go. Therefore, I congratulate the writers of the following works, in no particular order:
A Lesson in Being Mortal Louise McKenna
This is the work of a writer who revels in language and what it can do, who is aware of poem making. As the last line of the last poem in this manuscript says: “what remain, are words”. There is something wise (but, thankfully, not too wise) in this work. The poems take journeys, they move, they are aware of their geography as poems as well as the world’s geography, its noise and silence, its little and large histories. This poet uses the traditional resources of rhyme, sparingly and thoughtfully, and works a free-er line also with attention, fluency and confidence.
A Pause in the Conversation Lynette Arden
These insightful and alert poems deal with the everyday – in its beguiling mix of mundanity and strangeness, through voices of family and neighbours, of people in streets and malls, of the media – as well as with the pull of natural forces and the animal world. The poems scrutinise experience with skill and elegance, using a mix of forms and more free verse styles, and a twist of humour. There is also a sense here of something hard-won, of a courage in living and writing that can face “the end game” while digging for “a new beginning”.
Natural Intervention Sher’ee Furtak-Ellis
These poems are challenging and immediate, and very raw. There is no getting around that; they pull no punches. They are full of jagged energy, of rhyme and beat, but also lyric imagery that comes out of both city and country places. This is about some hard experience, about choices you make and live with, about anger and grace, despair and celebration, some tough stuff. It also about what you don’t choose, about exploitation of land, resources and people, some more tough stuff. You know this writer will have more to say, about a lot of the bad news, for sure, but also believing that ”the cascades will be bursting”.
I would also like to note the following three manuscripts, which I also highly regarded and were on the final short list that I chose from:
Credit by Jo Dey
A Slip of the Tongue by Belinda Broughton
Tightrope Dancing by John Pfitzner
I would like to congratulate all the writers who submitted manuscripts to this award, whether finally selected or not, for having the motivation to put something together and the resolve to put it forward. I wish them ongoing pleasure in their writing and ongoing success in offering their best work to readers and audiences, here and elsewhere.
Jill Jones, Adelaide, October, 2009
THANK YOU to all the poets who entered this competition !
Your manuscripts are with the judge. We will notify you to confirm, but we expect to announce the winners at the November 2009 meeting of Friendly Street Poets. We hope you will accept our invitation to all of you to be present at that meeting. As a supportive community of poets we would like to congratulate you all for having the courage, ability and skill to construct a manuscript. By doing that you have already advanced your own knowledge and, no matter what the outcome in this competition, you have achieved a great deal already in your development as a poet.
Are you a South Australian Poet who wants to have your poems published ? If you have 26 pages of poetry you can enter the New Poets 15 publishing competition. Submission guidelines and entry form can be down loaded from this web site.
The competition is judged independently and anonymously by a well qualified person. The judge selects three manuscripts which construct the volume of poetry. The book will be published by Wakefield Press and will be launched at Writers’ Week as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts in March 2010.
Entries close: FRIDAY 28th August
The submission guidelines for New Poets 15, which is open from now until August 28, 2009, are available here
Ken Bolton from the Experimental Arts Foundation, editor for Blue Dog and 2008 Convenor of Lee Marvin Readings was the judge of the New Poets 14 competition. He announced the winning manuscripts at the November Friendly St meeting. The three manuscripts are The Boy Full of Broken Promises by Rob Hardy; Airborne by Thom Sullivan and Snatching Time by Thames Valley (aka M.L.Emmett).
Ken said he was looking for “grace, intelligence and variety, and for bodies of work that showed mature conceptions of what poetry might be.” He thinks , “Too often people write varieties of stand-up comedy; alternatively poetry is thought to be a vehicle for a philosophical stance, where ‘philosophical’ means the poem should conclude on a note of rueful or amused stoicism as it announces ’silly old me’. He continued, “Typically, under both paradigms, not much of the poem’s thinking seems to have been done in the process of writing but is instead a prior conventional wisdom – so there is little surprise in the direction of the thinking. He was disappointed “that the entries seemed so unliterary – in that they showed little influence of other writing,” and “seemed not to see themselves as in dialogue with any particular tradition or lineage of writing.” He would like to see poets reading “deeply or widely, either would be good, both would be a bonus.” Although poets’ fear being influenced and losing independence Ken thinks the result “is most often that all these ‘uninfluenced’ poets resemble each other, a sort of styleless, ‘generic contemporary’ that changes very little from decade to decade.” Ken thinks that ” influence and immitation are a way to learn and develop and are a source of ideas and goals” .
Ken thought a “number of manuscripts rose above the ruck”. The three chosen Ken thought rose ‘highest’ and were ‘more sustained’. He briefly spoke about these three manuscripts. The poets were congratulated by the judge and the Friendly St community.