Satura Prize 2016: “Courage” by Elaine Barker

Satura Prize 2016: “Courage” by Elaine Barker

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The Satura Prize is awarded to the best poem in the FSP Anthology according to an external judge. This year the judge was Richard Tipping and the Prize Winning poem is Courage by Elaine Barker. See more of Elaine’s work here and read Richard’s award commendation speech here. (pics: Martin Christmas and Ian Gibbins).


Courage by Elaine Barker

Like his mates he slept upright night after night.
The sheepskin jacket was not enough to warm him –
even his bones were racked.
The whale oil he rubbed into his feet
never enough to stop the rot.
A mild-mannered man, he was always last
over the top, then he’d charge like a barbarian
shouting obscenities as he ran,
all of them madmen shooting and stabbing
in the red fire, rolling smoke and the filthy mud.
Time and time again he’d have cut and run,
drawn to the peace of the French farm
with lilac draped over its gate,
yet fear wrenched him back and the disgrace
of being hunted down,
thrown into the trench again like a rat.
He’d laugh and joke with the men,
sing that song about Tipperary
and all the while fear stalked him
and as if to take his measure,
threatened to close over him like a pall.
At last, the war took him home again,
a shambling man who hated the word hero,
shamed by the ribbons and medal he was given.
Years later when he’d lost track of time
his children would ask what he could remember.
He gave them only his name and number.

Gala Launch of Anthology #40 – Nova and Satura Prize winners

Front Cover of Anthology

The FSP June City Meeting was devoted to the launch of Friendly Street Poets Anthology 40 “Many Eyes, Many Voices” edited by Murray Alfredson and Margaret Clark and launched by FSP founding member, Richard Tipping.

 

The Nova Prize for best poem by a poet not previously published in an FSP anthology went to Bruce Greenhalgh for his poem, in the wake of  e e cummings.

The Satura Prize for best poem in the anthology went to Eileen Barker for her poem Courage.

FSP 40th Birthday / Anthology Celebration @ Halifax Cafe

Interesting times indeed, on November 11th, 1975, when a gathering of Adelaide poets took place at the Sim Choon fireworks factory in Union Street, Adelaide. After forty years of regular poetry readings in city, suburban and country areas, thousands of poems published, the occasional controversy and metaphorical firework, Friendly Street Poets remains alive and well, providing both a venue and an audience for poets.

Following the Gala Launch of FSP Anthology 40 at the SA Writers’ Centre (Tuesday, 7th June),

on Wednesday 8th June,

FSP will host a special

Open Mic and Celebration

at the Halifax Cafe, 187 Halifax Street, Adelaide,

beginning at 6:30pm.

Special guest will be FSP founding member Richard Tipping.

Read your poems (3 minutes maximum), catch up about the old days, enjoy the fine food and drinks from the Halifax Cafe kitchen.

No door / reading charge.

For more details see the event page.

FSP Featured Poet Series @ The Halifax Cafe, 25th May 2016: Jill Jones & Thom Sullivan

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Leading off the return series of FSP Featured Poets at the wonderful Halifax Cafe, two of Adelaide’s best known and successful poets, Jill Jones and Thom Sullivan.

Jill Jones has published nine books of poetry, and a number of chapbooks. Her latest books are Breaking the Days (Whitmore Press), and The Beautiful Anxiety (Puncher and Wattmann), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her work is represented in a number of major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian LiteratureThe Turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry and The Penguin Anthology of Australian PoetryHer poems have been translated into a number of languages including Chinese, French, Czech and Spanish. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, University of Adelaide.

Thom Sullivan grew up on a farm in Wistow/Bugle Ranges in the Adelaide Hills. He had a short collection of poems, Airborne, published in FSP New Poets 14 (Wakefield, 2009). Since then he has edited or co-edited seven published books of poetry. Most recently, his poems have appeared in The Best Australian Poems 2014The Best Australian Poems 2015Australian Love Poems, and as part of Australian Book Review’s “States of Poetry” series. He was a featured writer at Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2016. Website: thomsullivanpoet.com Twitter: @thomsullivansa.

Come early, stay late, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere, excellent food and a most fitting range of beverages offered by the Halifax Cafe. Support the venues that support poetry!

Poetry goes from about 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

Halifax Cafe
187 Halifax St, Adelaide SA 5001.

Poem of the Month: April 2016

Nigel Ford: regional events

The FSP Poem of the Month selected from the April readings by editors Edie Eicas and David Harris is Screaming At The Ceiling by Nigel Ford.


Screaming At The Ceiling

I’m standing in the middle of the room
fists clenched
muscles tensed
unable and unwilling
to stop myself screaming at the ceiling
in my frustration at the unfairness of it all
not knowing which way my divided loyalties should fall
with my Mum under an imminent death sentence
and my daughter so very heavily pregnant.
Do I stay or do I go?
I’ve got no idea, I just don’t know.
So I’m standing in the middle of the room
brain stunned
mind numbed
wishing and needing
to stop myself screaming at the ceiling
and make the decision to go or stay
a choice to be made almost right away.
Then my Mum said,
‘You’ve missed out on so much already
you’ve missed out on being a real daddy
so you’ve got to go son
be with your girl and her new born one
then take a good photo and send it back to me
so Great Grandpa can hold it up for me to see
and although I won’t be there to share the celebration
I’ll die content knowing there was a new generation.’

Then that next week when my mum passed away
and my daughter lost her baby the very next day
I found myself standing in the middle of the room
Fists Clenched
Muscles Tensed
Brain Stunned
Mind Numbed
Unable and Unwilling
To Stop Myself Screaming At The Ceiling.

Nigel Ford © 2016

Pic courtesy of Martin Christmas