Sunday, July 21, 2013

RSPB/The Rialto Nature Poetry Competition

The RSPB is working in partnership with leading independent UK poetry magazine, The Rialto, which will showcase the winning entries. 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.

Prizes: 1st £1000: 2nd £500: 3rd A Place on a Creative Writing Course at Ty Newydd in 2014 (worth £540). Additional prize, a personal tour with Mark Cocker of his most cherished wild life places in East Anglia. Mark is one of Britain’s most celebrated writers on nature.

The judge is celebrated poet, writer and broadcaster, Ruth Padel.  Ruth is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature and a Council Member for the Zoological Society of London.

Her latest collection, The Mara Crossing, shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Prize, explores human and animal migration in poetry and prose. She writes and presents BBC Radio 4 ‘Poetry Workshop’. Ruth will read all the poems entered in the competition.

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. Closing date for entries is 30 September 2013.

They are anxious to stress that the term ‘Nature Poetry’ will be given a wide interpretation by the judge and they refer to this mention of the competition in an editorial for The Rialto:

So what is Nature Poetry? As the flier says, the judge will give this a wide interpretation. 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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