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The Venture Award

I’m delighted to be short listed (as one of four) for the Venture pamphlet award run by Flipped Eye.

Poetry competitions are odd things – in some sense the very idea that poetry could be competitive seems wrong – but at the same time they have always been with us. Poetry was, of course, one of the first Olympic events in the ancient world. The pattern continues with a plethora of contests and prizes today – both for what is on the page and, in the slam tradition, for what poets do on stage.

However, although we should not set too much store by the outcome of any of these trials of poetic strength, they are a chance to raise the profile of poets and poetry. In particular the Venture award short list poets have the opportunity to perform at a reading before the final outcome is announced. The date for that is not set, but I hope to see you there – meanwhile I have to work out exactly how to turn my landscape formatted, ambiguously directional submissions into an oral format that indicates the multi-directional nature of the text.