Newsing and musing

A couple of good writing weeks have left me pondering poetry and rhyme. I had a great few days at the Sydney Writers Festival at which the Stoned Crows anthology was officially launched. It was fantastic to meet the people from Spineless Wonders, who have done such a great job promoting short and experimental forms of fiction, as well as a bevy of fellow contributors. I have two pieces in the anthology. I hope to get around to reviewing this excellent collection on this site shortly.

I have also just learned that two of my poems have been selected for the collection Australian Love Poems 2013. One piece is written over three stanzas based on the Shakespearean sonnet model, while the other is written in the Petrarchan sonnet form. In other words these are, structurally, ‘traditional’ pieces that rely heavily on rhyme.

While in Sydney I attended a session of performance poetry where, once again, rhyme and word-play were essential elements, influenced, in this instance, primarily by hip hop lyric styles. UK writer Kate Tempest, in particular, had the audience spellbound with her powerful, rhyme-driven performance. With this in mind I do find it somewhat intriguing, but not entirely surprising, that rhyme is so underrepresented in the contemporary poetry selection of Australian ‘literary’ publications. I can’t help feeling that a healthy infant was tossed out when the old modernist bath water was emptied some time during the mid 20th Century. For my part, as an occasional poet, I will continue to use rhyme wherever I think it adds to the effectiveness of the communication I’m trying to make. It was reassuring to have the two sonnet based pieces selected for the Love Poems anthology.

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