Monday, July 14, 2008

juggling judging 2

I have one medium pile of 'open' poetry entries now and one very small pile of 'regional' poetry I'm getting close to being able to sift the winners out - but as I sometimes like to do, I'll read through the discarded piles again, just to make sure that nothing got ditched (sometimes this happens) that should still be in the possible pile.

When I read through the entries, I make lots of little piles and bind them, so that I can track the process of discarding. A lot of work can resonate differently depending on my own mood and my own receptiveness at the time of reading. I'll probably continue to sit on these piles (mostly reading the possible pile over more throughly) until I feel that I've come to a decision.

One year, I remember ditching one poem from the pile a few times, and then a couple of days later, putting it back in. This went on for a while (it was the 'open' award pile) and then I started dreaming about the poem, and it just wouldn't leave me alone. Eventually, although it didn't win, it was left in and received a highly commended.

This year's 'open' pile has got me dreaming about poetry again, more specifically, dreaming about a couple of the poems, some of the striking lines and words in those poems and I'm waking up with those words in my head. I love it when this happens. It often happens with my own work and when it happens with the work of some other poet, it delights me no end. Poetry does not make a rational argument for itself, it can more often creep or sift in around the edges of the rational mind. Poetry is a great lurker and for this ability alone, it (the poetry?) insinuates itself into a wider field of existence and I love it for this.

Some poets who got lucky during my years of judging the 'open' include winning, highly commended and commended entrants (in no particular order) - Angela Gardner, Jena Woodhouse, Andrew Slattery, Nathan Curnow, Catherine Stewart, T.M. Collins, Jan Sullivan, Shane McCauley, Rosana Licari, Mark Miller, Lyn Oliver, Vivienne Glance, Maris Morton, John Egan, Daphne Hargraves, Raymond Southall.

Anyone who is reading this, (my few visitors god bless you) and who is an Australian, may recognise some of the names above. Regional competitions don't always attract large numbers, but the field is always well contested in the 'open' award. Prize money is smaller than the larger comps, but is often a little easier to get because of this (especially if the poetry rocks), and I guess any prize with money attached is always welcome.

So I'll be reading again later today, and I'll be sleeping on it again, and who knows what will happen. All I know at this point, is that poetry is alive and lurking...


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