Daily Archives: March 5, 2016

No Spring Chickens

The Stare's Nest

Don’t you hate it that the young get all the chances? That there are so many poetry awards for people under 18, under 25, under 30? What if you spent the first part of your life not writing poetry but gathering material for poems that only came later, when you had a bit more time to reflect?

Well, now it’s your turn. The Stare’s Nest is sponsoring a competition for older writers to get their moment in the spotlight. The brand new Fledgling Award celebrates debut pamphlets and collections by poets over the age of 40. And I’m delighted to say that the judge is none other than Martin “too old for a Gregory, to young to die” Figura!

So these are the rules:

  1. Eligible books must be the first solo book of poetry (whether a pamphlet or a full collection) from a poet who was 40 or older…

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Oh, Sister by Nick Cooke

I am not a silent poet

My sister is my holy grail:

she lives in Wolverhampton.

I keep on explaining

I only want to get to her

and be like her, who works

for the local council.

She studied English and IT

at the college there

that’s since closed down

due to some sort of cutting.

I tell them she’s my model

but it’s as if a curtain

came down like in chapel

when a coffin slides out of view

toward the eternal flames.

Time is frozen now, and past

achievement, progress,

evolution cannot be

a template for the present.

Here in the void I join a queue

to join a queue to join a queue,

trying to do everything

by what they call the book,

fearing that when I stumble

across the line that counts

just as I reach the door it

will shut in my smiling face.

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