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Poetry in the Post

Poetry in the Post

Okay, first things first, a belated happy new year one and all! I hope 2020 has started productively and you have lots of excitingly poetic plans for the year. Mine has included relocating from Swansea to Cardiff, where today it is extremely blustery!

The Poet is in the Post

The media team at Swansea University did a fantastic job of letting news organisations know about the blind poet who had just graduated with an MA in creative writing, including two TV channels and two newspapers. One of those newspapers, the Yorkshire Post, did indeed get in touch and did a full-page print article about me! This is the link to the online article. I did grow up in Yorkshire, hence the interest for the newspaper.

A couple of things amused me and I did tell the journalist as soon as I read the online article, that she should have let me fact-check / proofread the article before it was published. A photo from my undergraduate ceremony in 1994 was captioned as: Giles with his parents graduating from Swnasea University in 1994 ... for starters the photo was of me, my dad and my younger sister, not my mum (she took the photo), and I know that Welsh place names can be tricky for non-Welsh people, but Swansea shouldn't be that hard to spell, should it?

A Great Start to the Year

When I worked for the Department for Transport in London I often had to send out press releases that were embargoed until a particular policy announcement had been published on the DfT website. I have never myself been the subject of embargoed information ... until this January! I received an email from Poetry Wales, letting me know that I am one of 12 poets shortlisted in the Inaugural
Wales Poetry Award competition! If you visit that link there is a free downloadable PDF file of the shortlisted poems. There is an awards event on Saturday 15 February as part of the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival during which we'll find out which ten of the 13 poems are highly commended, and which three are awarded first, second and third prize. And yes, for the sharp-minded amongst you, there are indeed 13 poems and 12 poets, because one poet has two poems in the shortlist :) Each of the shortlisted poems will be read aloud at the event ... I've memorised mine so I can read it myself :)

I must say a couple of huge thank yous ... firstly to judge Katherine Stansfield for shortlisting one of my poems, and secondly to Aberystwyth University who sponsored the competition ... which allowed poets like me, with a household income of less than £16,000 per annum, to enter for free.

Poetic Planning

My main resolution for 2020 is to submit poems to a lot more magazines. I have half a dozen magazines with submission windows open in my browser plus a couple of competitions too.I never really like doing simultaneous submissions so I never have as many poems awaiting a response as I otherwise would have, but these are some of the magazines I am planning to submit to: The London Magazine, Poetry London, Ink Sweat & Tears, Bear Review, The Honest Ulsterman (current deadline 7 February 2020), The Southampton Review, The Interpreter's House, The Lampeter Review, and The Cincinnati Review, plus the Artlyst Art To Poetry Competition (ekphrastic poetry), and Acumen's International Poetry Competition.

#submissions #Competitions #PoetryWales

Published inblindnesscompetitions and submissionsPoetry

5 Comments

  1. Nell Nelson Nell Nelson

    I really like the idea of poets with below a certain income being able to enter competitions free.

  2. Giles Giles

    Me too! 🙂 xx

  3. Frances Browner Frances Browner

    That would be a good idea, Nell. It’s the main reason I dont enter, except maybe to treat myself once a year, but nothing over 10 euro (12 pounds). Congratulations again Giles, and best of luck in all your endeavours.

  4. Giles Giles

    I’ve never minded paing for competition entries where there is a potential prize … without the free entries from aberystwyth Uni I probably wouldn’t have entered because a £5 per poem entry fee was not good value when the first prize is only £100 … there are many competitions with £5 per poem entry fees that have £1000 first prizes! .. like the Magma one which one of our friends won was it last year? (I’ve entered it this year though don’t rate my chances!)

  5. Happy belated new year. I’m glad the year has gotten off to such a great start for you, and hope things continue to go well.

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