Author Topic: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize  (Read 7616 times)

Offline Xerika

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Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« on: April 16, 2010, 07:16:06 PM »
Just spotted this in the Arvon Foundation newsletter:

Arvon's prestigious biennial International Poetry Competition will open for entries on 13 May. Founded in 1980 by Ted Hughes, the competition is open to residents of any country, and has a reputation for discovering the poetic talent of the future.

This year the first prize has increased from £5000 to £7,500, making it one of the largest available for a single poem, so start polishing up your poetry now! Full details of how to enter will be available on the Arvon website on 13 May.


Here's a link: http://arvonfoundation.org/p88.html.

For that kind of dosh, I might even have a scribble myself.  ;D
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Offline Leviathan

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 07:58:01 PM »
  I'm planning on entering!  Thanks for sharing!  :D
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Offline A.J.B

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 11:52:38 AM »
This could just be my dull eyes not reading properly, but do they exist rhyming poetry? Or is restricted to non-rhyming?
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 09:26:29 PM »
This could just be my dull eyes not reading properly, but do they exist rhyming poetry? Or is restricted to non-rhyming?

A.J.B., I'm guessing you meant 'accept' rather than 'exist'  ;).

As far as I'm aware, they'll accept anything as long as it's in English. Whether a rhyming poem will win is another story altogether, but I must confess I haven't looked back to see if any rhyming poems have won in recent years.
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 09:50:14 PM »
Okay, I just had a quick trawl before my long overdue bedtime and found this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3673108/Arvon-Poetry-Competition-Break-every-law....html

It's an article by Jean Sprackland called: Arvon Poetry Competition: 'Break every law...'

In fact, it's not just about what sort of poetry to enter for the Arvon competition, it has some very useful advice about writing poetry generally.

Here's what she says about rhyming:

Should your poem rhyme? Contrary to popular belief, rhyme is alive and well in contemporary poetry. If you want to see how some poets handle it, try looking at the work of Wendy Cope, Paul Farley, Sophie Hannah, Tony Harrison, Paul Muldoon, Don Paterson or Kit Wright, to name a small and varied few.

Nevertheless, despite its long association with poetry, rhyme is by no means essential. It takes skill and practice to do well; it can all too easily take over and force the poem out of shape as you concentrate on getting the rhyme right at the expense of other, more fundamental kinds of truth and accuracy.

Another thing to consider is that full rhyme combined with regular metre can make a poem sound very sure of itself, and while that certainty may be justified for some themes and subject matter, more often it doesn't match our anxious, ambivalent 21st-century preoccupations.


But, hey, what am I on about? There's a fair few MWC members that have been telling us this for yonks. ;D (You know who you are.  ;))
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Offline Amie

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 09:00:24 AM »
Contrary to popular belief, rhyme is alive and well in contemporary poetry. If you want to see how some poets handle it, try looking at the work of Wendy Cope, Paul Farley, Sophie Hannah, Tony Harrison, Paul Muldoon, Don Paterson or Kit Wright, to name a small and varied few.

Nevertheless, despite its long association with poetry, rhyme is by no means essential. It takes skill and practice to do well; it can all too easily take over and force the poem out of shape as you concentrate on getting the rhyme right at the expense of other, more fundamental kinds of truth and accuracy.

EXACTLY

I probably shouldn't admit this (but I will) - it really winds me up when someone posts up a very weak rhyming poem, and then if people don't like it, tries to say that it's because rhyming is unfashionable or whatever.

I love good rhyming poetry - and no way is it unfashionable. However, as your Arvon guide suggests, it's really difficult to do well. Just making something rhyme doesn't make it good poetry. And yeah, what usually happens is that the poem gets all bent out of shape to accommodate the rhyme, and anything interesting or insightful gets lost in the bowlderisation (let's not even get on to meter. no really, let's not. except, why do people write rhyming poetry when they have no idea about meter, and evidently no ear?). So yes, good rhyming poetry is not unfashionable. Metronomic clichés with wrenched rhymes are however (unfashionable that is). The two are not the same thing.

To those of you who write fabulous interesting musical rhyming poetry - please keep doing it, it's a dying art and should be preserved. And for people who would like to write fabulous rhyming poetry - don't be put off, but remember that it still has to be good writing at the end of it, even when you've got the music of the words down. And to perfect that skill often takes a lot of work, it's not something most people achieve simply by forcing lines into predictable end rhymes.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 09:02:11 AM by Amie »
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twisted wheel

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 09:57:57 AM »
i'm gonna throw away entry money and enter the comp. what about you amie - up for it?

Offline A.J.B

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 11:47:26 AM »
A.J.B., I'm guessing you meant 'accept' rather than 'exist'  ;).

As far as I'm aware, they'll accept anything as long as it's in English. Whether a rhyming poem will win is another story altogether, but I must confess I haven't looked back to see if any rhyming poems have won in recent years.

I don't know why I said exist :S thanks :P
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Offline Amie

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 12:38:30 PM »
i'm gonna throw away entry money and enter the comp. what about you amie - up for it?

I don't have anything good enough to enter, and doubt I can write something of that standard in the next month! Sheesh, for a £7500 prize, it has to be something approximating Nobel prize quality literature I would have thought. And tens of thousands of people enter, so even if you did write a Nobel-prize winner, and say your poem was in the top 0.1% in terms of quality, you'd still be competing against hundreds of other Nobel-prize quality poems. At which point it sort of becomes a lottery, doesn't it?

And, since none of my poetry is of Nobel prize quality, I wouldn't have a hope in hell of getting in that top 500 or however many stunning poems duke it out for any prizes. If they gave feedback I'd have a go, just to get their opinions - but I doubt after they read 20,000 poems they have time to give you any feedback.

Not to be negative or anything...

Would be brilliant if someone from MWC got one of the prizes in any case - someone much more confident than I am I would think :)
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

twisted wheel

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 03:02:53 PM »
in it to win it ;D

Offline WriteACT

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 03:05:54 PM »
Hi Amie,
I too have struggled with confidence over the years and it's taken me a long time to be able to embrace writing full time, and a journey I would repeat all over again. 
Just to be devils advocate...Would you have been more inclined to enter if it was a lower prize? The value of the prize (although that particular prize would be very nice indeed!) is not just monetary value. It represents accolades any writer wishes for- To be accepted as a writer and rewarded for their work. It may be a lottery, but I for one will be having a go. I am equally as doubtful of the outcome but hoping that someone along the picket line of judges likes it enough even just to read it twice...for me that's progress. 
They quite rightly wouldn't be able to give feedback to us all (that would be a job!) but maybe, just maybe, the whole reason we write in the first place is to try and test boundaries and reach people with our words.  How can we do that if we don't try?

Well...I'm going to have a go at a bit of poetry tomorrow...
I hope you'll re-consider and give it a go! (what have you got to lose?) :)

Ashleigh
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 03:09:27 PM by WriteACT »
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Offline Amie

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 01:40:07 PM »
You've got a good attitude Ashleigh :)

ps - yes, I do think I'd be less intimidated about entering if the prize was a lot lot less!! ;D
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." - Kafka

Offline Xerika

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 09:35:02 PM »
UPDATE: Competition now open for submissions until 16th August.

http://www.arvonfoundation.org/p236.html

This year, there's also a special prize on the theme of 'The Pity of War...'

P.S. Go on, Amie, go for it.  :)
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Offline Xerika

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Re: Arvon Poetry Competition - ₤7,500 first prize
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 09:41:46 PM »
Oh yes, and I just spotted this about FREE WORKSHOPS in London with Daljit Nagra and Rommi Smith:

In June Arvon celebrates the reopening of Keats House, the former home of the poet John Keats, with some free taster workshops.

Daljit Nagra will challenge you to explore unusual or controversial areas in your writing, while Rommi Smith will use Keats' own love letters to look at the music of poetry.

4 & 5 June, Keats House, London, FREE
Places are limited and must be booked in advance.


http://arvonfoundation.org/p75.html

http://rob-johnson.org.uk/ - writing, podcasting and reluctant olive farming

"I'd Rather Eat My Own Face" podcast. The truth about olive harvesting. http://wp.me/p2bC2C-8U

"If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." - Elmore Leonard