I like The New Writer. Specifically I like their poetry prizes. Their fiction prize is a closed book to me, but last year I managed to be a finalist in both their poetry collection and single poetry competitions. This year I went one better and I was highly commended in the single poem category for my piece about the “Green Line” in Nicosia, “Cyprus Delight”.
So, as one of the top ten poems in the competition, “Cyprus Delight” will now receive the ultimate accolade of print publication. Which is all rather exciting.
I still find poetry completely baffling. I dabble in it (I hate that phrase, but it’s true) because I enjoy it and I like to think that my experiments in the discipline with choosing the right word and getting the rhythm right etc. inform my fiction writing. But despite clocking up a few moderate successes like this one, I still feel a total fraud because I read very little poetry – partly because there’s very little that I feel completely comfortable with, but mostly because I’m lazy and ignorant. Actually, I could probably do with some pointers as to who I should read, and any suggestions would be most welcome.
In other news, my interview with Vanessa Gebbie went live on Salt Publishing’s blog yesterday. I hope I managed to do her justice, despite me not having much of a clue about interviewing. It was fun to do, though.
And I had a very swift acceptance yesterday from Escape Velocity for my piece “Symbiosis”, a tender story about the love of a young girl for her medicinal parasitic tapeworm. This will appear in their forthcoming anthology.