Prizes celebrating poets published in “The Poetry Review” and “Poetry News”; Mary Jean Chan on A Tapestry of Narratives: Conversations Through Poetry

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel



The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize Winner: Mary Jean Chan

Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is the author of A Hurry of English (ignition, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and Flèche (Faber, 2019 – forthcoming), her debut full-length collection, which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She won second prize in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and has been shortlisted in the Forward Prize Best Single Poem category twice. A Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University, she lives in London.

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this thoughtful presentation, A Tapestry of Nrratives: Conversations Through Poetry, by Mary Jean Chan.

The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize Judge: Paul Farley

Paul Farley is a British poet, writer and broadcaster. He is the author of four collections of poetry. His fifth, The Mizzy, is published by Picador this autumn.

Hamish Canham Prize Winner: Carole Bromley

Carole Bromley’s pamphlets (Unscheduled Halt and Skylight) and her three books (A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and Blast Off!) are published by Smith / Doorstop. She is currently working on a second children’s book and a pamphlet about her recent experience of brain surgery. She lives in York.

The Hamish Canham Prize

The annual prize for the best members’ poem in Poetry News was established in 2004 by Sheena and Hugh Canham, in memory of their son, Hamish Canham (1962-2003), who was a gifted child psychotherapist with a passionate interest in, and love of, poetry. Former winners include Ian Humphreys, Duncan Chambers, Robin Houghton, Suzanna Fitzpatrick, Martin Figura and Denise Bennett.

Poetry News

Poetry News, published quarterly, is the members’ newspaper of The Poetry Society. In each issue, a professional poet sets a theme of his or her choice to which Poetry Society members respond. The judge selects six poems for publication in Poetry News. These poets are then eligible to be considered for the Hamish Canham Prize, which is awarded annually and presented by the Poetry Society on behalf of the Canham family.

The Poetry Society

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to promote a “more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages. It publishes the magazine The Poetry Review, runs the National Poetry Competition, the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry and the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award.

This post is courtesy of The Poetry Society, The Poetry News, and TED.


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Recent in digital publications: 
* Four poemsI Am Not a Silent Poet
* From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems)(July 2019)
* Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review (July 2019)
Upcoming in digital publications:
* The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice (August 2019)

A busy though bed-bound poet, writer, former columnist and the former associate editor of a regional employment newspaper, my work has been featured widely in print and digital publications including: Levure littéraireRamingo’s Porch, Vita Brevis Literature, HerStry, Connotation Press, The Bar None Group, Salamander CoveI Am Not a Silent Poet, Meta/ Phor(e) /Play, Woven Tale PressThe Compass Rose and California Woman. I run The Poet by Day, a curated info hub for poets and writers. I founded The Bardo Group/Beguines, a virtual literary community and publisher of The BeZine of which I am the founding and managing editor. Among others, I’ve been featured on The MethoBlog, on the Plumb Tree’s Wednesday Poet’s Corner, and several times as Second Light Live featured poet.

Email me at thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, reprint rights, or comissions.


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

This

This is the work of Turkish Artist Uğur Gallenkuş. If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely have to link through to the site to view this video.


Celebrating Poetry Around the World

“[Poetry] is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”  Adrienne Rich, What is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics



Apartment repairs, world affairs, and a plethora of other things distracted me from a day (yesterday) that is important to all of us, World Poetry Day . . . but then again for us every day is world poetry day.

“Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

“In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

“A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

“One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

“The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.” UNESCO

If you are reading this post from an email subscription, you’ll likely need to link to the site to view “100 Poets. One Poem – Kommune World Poetry Day Special 2019.”  Really, quite a wonderful video. 


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“Love takes off the masks ….”, James Baldwin

James Baldwin (1924-1987), American poet, novelist, playwright, social critic

“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I use the word “love” here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace – not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.”  James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time



The giver (for Berdis)

If the hope of giving

is to love the living,

the giver risks madness

in the act of giving.

 

Some such lesson I seemed to see

in the faces that surrounded me.

 

Needy and blind, unhopeful, unlifted,

what gift would give them the gift to be gifted?

The giver is no less adrift

than those who are clamouring for the gift.

 

If they cannot claim it, if it is not there,

if their empty fingers beat the empty air

and the giver goes down on his knees in prayer

knows that all of his giving has been for naught

and that nothing was ever what he thought

and turns in his guilty bed to stare

at the starving multitudes standing there

and rises from bed to curse at heaven,

he must yet understand that to whom much is given

much will be taken, and justly so:

I cannot tell how much I owe.

© James Baldwin estate, excerpt from Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems (Beacon Press, 2014) [recommended]

JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic, and one of America’s foremost writers. His essays, such as Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-twentieth-century America. A Harlem, New York, native, he primarily made his home in the south of France.

Baldwin’s novels include Giovanni’s Room (1956), about a white American expatriate who must come to terms with his homosexuality, and Another Country (1962), about racial and gay sexual tensions among New York intellectuals. His inclusion of gay themes resulted in much savage criticism from the black community. Going to Meet the Man (1965) and Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone (1968) provided powerful descriptions of American racism. As an openly gay man, he became increasingly outspoken in condemning discrimination against lesbian and gay people. Bio via James Baldwin’s Amazon page HERE.

Photo of James Baldwin taken in Hyde Park is courtesy of Allan warren under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are viewing this post from an email subscription, you will likely have to link through to the site to watch this video. I happened on it today, which inspired this evening post. Twenty-eight well-spent minutes.

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