"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Friday, January 13, 2012

Unsurprisingly unplaced in Greg O'Donoghue

The results of the first big poetry competition of the year are out and despite there being three winners, ten Highly Commendeds and seventy (yes, seventy) Commendeds up there, neither of my entries features. The disappointment has added somewhat to my New Year's poetical apathy - I am finding it very hard to write at the moment and, unusually for me, am starting to wonder what the point is. I've always had a very thick skin and can take a lot of knocks but I'm starting to realise that my lack of education is perhaps too big a drawback. I tend to write uncryptically and am constantly baffled by a lot of poetry that wins prizes. Maybe if I took evening classes in poetry, I might learn to appreciate modern poetry more but then, wouldn't I just be writing to win competitions, rather than writing for the love of it? And I do really like some of the stuff I've written in the past year.
Ah, enough maudlin self-pity, and get on with it.
New York, Michigan, Cork in that order. Only two Irish in the ten Commendeds, Mark Ryan from Clare and Padraig Rooney (above) who won Strokestown in 2010 and lives in Der Schweiz.
As usual the Trim Brigade features prominently with Michael Farry, Tom Dredge and Evan Costigan - all wonderful poets - appearing in the list. Peggy Gallagher is in there too and the somewhat-quiet-of-late David Mohan, and Mae Newman and Siobhan Flynn, another Strokestown veteran. The full results are here
Like Titus up in Scotland, I'm struggling with Blogger at the moment and don't appear to be able to answer comments, so apologies if you think I'm ignoring you - I'm not!
And remember, only one week left to submit for Strokestown.


  1. Jaysus Peter would you look at your successes last year!! And you can do a lot of styles, I haven't read many of your comp entries anywhere so I can't comment (I bet they are good though) but that poem in Bare Hands is a real gem. Fact. As for education, in my opinion it's not necessary to be very well educated to write poetry.If it is then I'm fucked!

  2. I actually prefer poetry I can understand (mostly - some mystery is ok, but being obtuse just to be obtuse I don't like) - and would be very sad if you tried to change.

    I've been in a writing funk lately too. In fact, yesterday's post was (sort of) about how winter makes me feel stifled. I'm trying to make peace with it & wait for spring.

  3. Peter, I try to write a big of poetry myself but feel a bit intimidated by it, if I am honest.
    But, it still doesn't stop me from writing it. I think we all have our own individual 'voice' and should never feel that it is an exclusive club. In fact, if poetry was less obtuse, more people would read it and it would become more popular. Education, shmeducation, write what you love!

  4. Interesting piece of writing! I really enjoyed it!