Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nature Poetry Competition

This sounds like an interesting competition. The challenge might be to find a poem which fits the category but is not an obviously stereotypical 'nature poem' - I wandered lonely as a cloud . . . It would be a pity though if the judges took the view that everything is nature so anything goes.

As well as offering poets the chance to win considerable cash prizes and publication of their poems, the competition will raise money for conservation and poetry. We are working in partnership with leading independent UK poetry magazine, The Rialto, as we feel the magazine will be the perfect place to showcase the winning entries.

1st prize is £1000; 2nd Prize is £400; 3rd Prize is £300. Additional Prize is a personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wildlife places in East Anglia.

The two judges are former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion and the leading Nature Writer, Mark Cocker.

The entry fee is £6 for the first poem and £3 for each subsequent entry. Full details and the facility to enter online can be found on The Rialto website.

If you would prefer to enter by post, you can download an entry form from the website.

Please do note the term ‘Nature Poetry’ will be given a wide interpretation by the judges. To help expand on this, I thought it would be useful to copy in Michael Mackmin’s mention of the competition is his most recent editorial for The Rialto:

So what is Nature Poetry? As the flier says, the judges will give this a wide interpretation. That’s up to them, but I’d imagine it won’t have to be just poems about creatures and beings that share the planet, or about ‘environmental concerns’. We are all air and water, everything we eat comes from the earth or the sea, most people know the roughness of a leaf or the heft of a stone can change a mood or express a feeling. I asked a 16 year old, What is nature? and she said, insects and grass: I asked a 32 year old the same question and she said, the sun and the moon and the stars and flowers and fruit and babies. You might just have to write your poems and take a risk.

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