12 June 2005

Blue Dog Poetry Reviewing Competition

Announcement from the Poetry Australia Foundation, publishers of the journal, Blue Dog: Australian Poetry

Blue Dog Poetry Reviewing Competition

Closing date: 31 August each year.

Prizes: First prize: $1,000

All commended reviews will be published in one of the two following issues of Blue Dog: Australian Poetry; the reviewers will be paid $100 on publication.

Poetry reviewing is at a low ebb at present. The number of reviews published continues to shrink alarmingly, and the quality of the reviews that appear is extremely variable, even in newspapers and journals of national significance. There are some excellent reviews being written, but there are also too many that, even when they praise the book being reviewed, show little genuine engagement with the book or its matter or stylistic concerns. This competition is intended to reverse these twin downward trends: to make it possible for readers to get a sense of what poetry is available, and what they might find if they open the books reviewed.

Criteria: read on ...

1. There is no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted, but each entry must be paid for at the rate of $10.00 per entry, or $5 per entry for members of the Poetry Australia Foundation.

2. Closing date: 31st August each year.

3. The review must be at least 1,000 words.

4. The review must be of a poetry collection which:

– is published in book form

– is by a single author published in the years 2003 – 2005

– and is by an Australian poet or a poet who is a long term resident in Australia

5. The review must not have been published previously.

6. The notes in Blue Dog will provide some guidance to intending entrants.: “We’re looking for reviews in depth; perhaps a thousand words, more if the book requires it. We’re not much interested in reviews that are mere “puffs” or advertisements for the book; but nor are we looking for reviews that show how superior or clever the reviewer is at the poet’s expense. What we want is a review that genuinely engages with the poetry, so that the reader will get a good sense of the kind of poetry this is, the areas of experience it deals with, its strengths and its weaknesses, all supported by appropriate quotations from the text.” Where appropriate, reviewers might also consider how this book relates to other work by the poet being reviewed, and perhaps also where it fits in the contemporary poetry scene, both in terms of its concerns and its poetics.

7. Send entries to BTG-Blue Dog Poetry Reviewing Competition, School of Creative Arts, University of Melbourne 3010. Hard copy only. Entries must be accompanied by a cheque or money order for the appropriate amount, made out to the Poetry Australia Foundation.

This competition is made possible by the generosity of Bradley Trevor Grieve, who has donated the $1,000 first prize.

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