It’s that time of year again, when those of us with a yen towards Romantic poetry (Byron & Wordsworth, NOT Mills & Boon) start feverishly pacing up and down the leafless lanes attempting to compose a poem on a Romantic theme for the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association‘s annual International Poetry Competition. Actually it’s two competitions – for a poem of no more than fifty lines on a theme chosen by the judges, and for an essay on any aspect of the work or life of Keats or Shelley. This year’s theme is ‘Glass’, which certainly has lots of possibilities.
Actually this will be the fourth or fifth time I’ve decided to enter. I love the Romantics, I have a natural penchant for things of a Gothic nature (not necessarily helpful, I’ll admit, but it does simply my wardrobe choices) and I find having a theme to write to extremely liberating. Unfortunately I’ve never yet managed to get a poem finished in time for the actual competition – the deadline is June 30th. I’ve quite possibly left it too late yet again, but here’s hoping.
And in case you’re wondering, it does produce some glorious poems. You can read winning poems on the KSMA website here. My personal favourites are Jane Draycott’s beautiful “The Night Tree” (which was the inspiration behind my own poem, “The Orange Tree”), and Simon Armitage’s winning poem from last year, “The Present” (theme: Ice).
So, no more excuses. Clicking on this link will open a downloadable pdf with the entry conditions. Get out there and write!