Wednesday, June 22, 2016

SKIN IN AND BONE OUT - BLAKE POETRY PRIZE UPDATE

A quick hi and Blake Poetry Prize update
















I'm jumping back into this earlier post (May 2017) to give you an update on the Blake Poetry Prize. I was of the impression it had folded but, good news, it has moved to the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in partnership with the Liverpool City Library as of this year. The Blake Poetry Prize closes June 2. The much longer running Blake Prize (for art) moved to Casula Powerhouse in 2016. Both are held biennially.

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At my first art class the teacher encouraged us to buy a book of anatomy and to draw and re-draw the human body - from skin in and bone out - spending the week between classes sketching people as skeletons. I had two active children and had no trouble filling books with their small skeletons at play. 
Fast sketching in the street and from the car was more practise in catching the fleeting. In those days I could also remember a face or a character and sketch it well later.  I learnt to make image, to explore colour and to observe. All great tools for writing.
I love the smell of paint (started as a child sniffing freshly painted doors) and to swing a brush and have missed these. From time to time I’ll break out and mess with oil pastels or do a bit of scribbling with pencil or stick & ink. 
A friend gave me a very small book once with plain cream pages and I found myself tearing out text and images and adding my own images and words. Fragments. This (now well thumbed) book eventually became a prose poem called Prayer: Quick & Dirty and was Highly Commended in the 2013 Blake (sorry - I've mentioned this before - and before!). A few pages from the book – or as it turned out an early draft of the poem – are below. The captions are related fragments from the poem.

This is the catalyst for a manuscript I've been slowly shaping up and hope to find time to focus on (see previous posts). The poem can be found at the Blake Prize website. Oh no it can't. Seems the website may be no longer. Hmmm.



Listen   quick and dirty    eight orange stars   














a vest like a/raffle ticket







His raven eye fitly set   wounds  Your takeaway face ...






... him and his raspberry insult   cobbles/burled by the currents   smooth grey pigeons


... peel back the pages you/will see her porcelain skin is broken china



... crushed to coal  a black slide  their slippers a queue of teeth


... lays her eggs in mud bottles  distinguishes the character of/her young   like some small miracle


Yesterday's journey an/arc of stiletto red under the monotone of stricken evening

the old Singer up on its brawny legs humming   Its running stitch/its rapid tacking  chronicles this place

... the desert freckled hide ...





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